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J Obstet Gynaecol. 2005 Feb;25(2):117-8.

Term preeclampsia is associated with minimal histopathological placental features regardless of clinical severity.

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Department of Histopathology, St Mary's Hospital Paddington, London, UK.


Preeclampsia (PET) is a serious complication of pregnancy, which is associated with uteroplacental disease and reduced uteroplacental perfusion. One of the histological features in placentas from pregnancies complicated by PET is infarction, representing focal severe uteroplacental ischaemia. This study examines the relationship between gestation at induced delivery and the prevalence of placental infarction using a placental pathology database to identify induced or operative deliveries on the basis of severe PET. The clinical and pathological findings were reviewed. Thirty-seven cases were identified, (4.9% of all placentas submitted). In 16 (43%), non-peripheral significant infarcts were identified histologically, including 13/20 (65%) requiring delivery before 34 weeks' compared to 3/17 (17%) requiring delivery > or = 34 weeks (z=2.9, P<0.01). Histological infarction is common in placentas from pregnancies complicated by severe PET but the prevalence is significantly greater in cases requiring delivery at earlier gestations, even when similar clinical indications for delivery are applied.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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