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Pediatr Dev Pathol. 2011 Jan-Feb;14(1):1-9. doi: 10.2350/10-02-0795-OA.1. Epub 2010 May 13.

Placental membrane and placental disc microscopic chorionic cysts share similar clinicopathologic associations.

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Division of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, 3333 Burnet Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45229-3039, USA.


Placental membrane microscopic chorionic cysts (MCC) are associated with clinical conditions and placental features of in utero hypoxia. Those occurring in the cell islands, chorionic plate, placental septa, and maternal floor of the chorionic disc have been thought to have degenerative/liquefactive or secretory etiology and no clinical significance. To study the clinical and placental associations of MCC, 24 clinical (maternal and fetal) and 46 gross and microscopic placental features were statistically compared among 266 consecutive cases with MCC (study group, SG) and 656 consecutive placentas without MCC (control group, CG). The SG was further subdivided into (A) 139 placentas with chorionic disc MCC (at least 3 cysts per 1 placental parenchyma section), (B) 93 cases with membrane MCC (at least 3 chorionic lakes per membrane roll), and (C) 34 cases with both membrane and chorionic disc MCC in the same placenta. The SG contained more cases than the CG of diabetes mellitus, fewer cases with preterm premature ruptures of membranes, more multiple pregnancies, less chorioamnionitis, more cases of massive perivillous fibrin deposition, and more cases involving an excessive amount of chorionic disc extravillous trophoblasts. Within the SG, statistically significant differences among SGA, SGB, and SGC groups were found in terms of maternal diabetes mellitus, total perinatal mortality, neonatal mortality, cesarean deliveries, chorioamnionitis, histological meconium staining, chorangiosis, and excessive amount of chorionic disc extravillous trophoblast, respectively. Both membrane and chorionic disc MCC, frequently associated with an excessive amount of extravillous trophoblast, should be regarded as members of the family of extravillous trophoblastic lesions associated with chronic placental hypoxia.

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