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[Placenta membranacea. Review of the literature, a case report].

[Article in French]

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  • 1Service de Gynécologie-Obstétrique, Centre Hospitalier Général, Hôpital De la Fontaine, Saint-Denis.


Placenta membranacea or placenta diffusa is a rare abnormality in which all or most of fetal membranes remain covered by chorionic villi, because the chorion has failed to differenciate into chorion laeve and chorion frondosum. This condition is associated with recurrent antepartum bleeding, abortion in the second trimester of the pregnancy, preterm delivery, fetal death, intra-uterine growth retardation, post partum haemorrhage and placental retention. In this paper, we report our first case of placenta membranacea. A 30-year-old black woman, gravida 3, para 1, was admitted at 23 weeks of gestation for vaginal bleeding. She was placed on complete bed rest. Ultrasonographic examination showed a placenta covering the anterior and posterior uterine walls and the internal cervical os. At 28 weeks and 34 weeks of gestation, ultrasound examination showed the same findings: total placenta previa covering the entire uterine wall and presenting many lacuna. At 38 weeks, she underwent a cesarean section. The placenta adhered firmly to the myometrium. Because the attempts to remove the placenta was unsuccessful, it was performed a total hysterectomy. The total blood loss was 7000 ml. Anatomo-pathologic examination of the placenta led do the diagnosis of placenta membranea, total previa and increta. In the literature, 35 cases of placenta membranacea have been reported; of these, there are ten cases associated with total hysterectomy.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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