Gross/Macroscopic Variations and Conditions
Variations in Size and Shape
Low weight / small for gestational age

Topic Completed: 1 October 2011

Minor changes: 28 October 2020

Copyright: 2002-2021,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Low weight small for gestational age [title] placenta

Mandolin S. Ziadie, M.D.
Page views in 2020: 1,149
Page views in 2021 to date: 77
Cite this page: Ziadie MS. Low weight / small for gestational age. website. Accessed January 22nd, 2021.
Definition / general
  • Placental weight that falls below the 10th percentile for gestational age
  • Due to a variety of causes, including:
    • Fetal factors: prematurity, fetal malformations or trisomy, small for date fetus, neonatal high hemoglobin or lower than expected body size in later childhood for fetus
    • Maternal factors: low pregnancy weight gain, low maternal pregravid body weight, high maternal hemoglobin during pregnancy, gestational hypertension, paid employment during pregnancy, low parity, maternal diabetes, CMV, HSV or other chronic infections; other causes of reduced uteroplacental blood flow
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Evidence of placental hypoxia including terminal villous hypoplasia, chorangiosis or Tenney-Parker change
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