Send to

Choose Destination
Pathology. 2008 Jun;40(4):372-6. doi: 10.1080/00313020802035865.

Histological characteristics of singleton placentas delivered before the 28th week of gestation.

Author information

Department of Pathology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts 02118, USA.



The placenta is a record of the fetal environment and its examination may provide information about the baby's subsequent growth and development. We describe the histological characteristics of 947 singleton placentas from infants born between 23 and 27 weeks gestation.


Consent was obtained from mothers who delivered before 28 weeks (clinical estimate). We evaluated the gross and histopathological features of the placenta and assessed pair-wise correlations between variables.


Lesions of uteroplacental circulation (abruption, extensive infarction or thrombosis, marked basal or perivillous fibrin deposition, increased syncytial knots) were inversely related to those associated with inflammation of the membranes and cord. Earlier age favoured inflammatory variables, while older age favoured characteristics attributed to impaired blood flow. We observed inflammation of the chorionic plate in 43%, the cord in 19%, and of chorionic plate vessels in 30%. Of the placentas with umbilical cord inflammation, 8% had no inflammation of the chorionic plate.


This study population is unique in its size and recruitment by gestational age rather than birth weight. Inflammation occurred frequently, but not in placentas that had characteristics of vasculopathy. The prevalence of inflammation decreased with increasing gestational age, while vasculopathy increased. Funisitis need not be accompanied by chorionic inflammation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center