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Exp Ther Med. 2017 Dec;14(6):5535-5539. doi: 10.3892/etm.2017.5207. Epub 2017 Sep 27.

Vascular corrosion casting of normal and pre-eclamptic placentas.

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1
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Jinan Military General Hospital, Jinan, Shandong 250031, P.R. China.

Abstract

Pre-eclampsia is an important cause of maternal and fetal morbidity and mortality that is associated with decreased placental perfusion. In the present study, vascular corrosion casting was used to investigate the differences in structural changes of the fetoplacental vasculature between normal and pre-eclamptic placentas. An improved epoxy resin vascular casting technique was used in the present study. Casting media were infused into 40 normal and 40 pre-eclamptic placentas through umbilical arteries and veins in order to construct three dimensional fetoplacental vasculatures. The number of branches, diameter, morphology and peripheral artery-to-vein ratio were measured for each specimen. The results indicated that the venous system of normal placentas was divided into 5-7 grades of branches and the volume of the vascular bed was 155.5±45.3 ml. In severe pre-eclamptic placentas, the volume was 106.4±36.1 ml, which was significantly lower compared with normal placentas (P<0.01). The venous system of pre-eclamptic placentas was divided into 4-5 grades of branches, which was much more sparse compared with normal placentas. In additions, the diameters of grade 1-3 veins and grade 2-3 arteries were significantly smaller in severe pre-eclampsia (P<0.05). In conclusion, pre-eclamptic placentas displayed a decreased volume of vascular bed, smaller diameters of grade 1-3 veins and grade 2-3 arteries, and an increased peripheral artery-to-vein ratio, which may be a cause of the placental dysfunction during severe pre-eclampsia.

KEYWORDS:

placenta; pre-eclampsia; vascular casting; vascular reconstruction

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