Infectious conditions
Villitis of unknown etiology (VUE)

Author: Mandolin Ziadie, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 11 October 2017, last major update October 2011

Copyright: (c) 2002-2017,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Placental villitis of unknown etiology

Cite this page: Ziadie, M. Villitis of unknown etiology (VUE). website. Accessed October 22nd, 2018.
Definition / general
  • Chronic inflammatory cells within stroma of chorionic villi
  • No causative organism
  • Infiltrating cells have been shown to be maternal T cells, suggesting that this is an immune mediated disease
  • Associated with fetal growth restriction, premature delivery and stillbirth (more common with recurrent disease)
  • Seen in 3 - 5% of placentas with greater incidence (25%) in small for gestational age newborns
  • Focal (low grade): small clusters of villi ( < 10) on a single slide
  • Multifocal (low grade): small clusters of involved villi ( < 10) on multiple slides
  • Patchy (high grade): larger clusters of villi ( > 10) on multiple slides
  • Diffuse (high grade): large clusters of villi ( > 10) on all slides
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Lymphocytes and macrophages within the villous stroma, sometimes with granulomas and giant cells
  • May be accompanied by chronic deciduitis with plasma cells, chronic chorioamniotis, perivillous fibrin, avascular villi and rarely with chronic intervillositis