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Arch Pathol Lab Med. 1976 Jul;100(7):367-71.

Pathological features of the placenta in fetal death.


Few studies of the histopathological features of the placenta in cases of fetal death are available. We will describe the placental findings from 24 midtrimester spontaneous abortions and 54 stillborn infants of more than 28 weeks' gestation. In almost 100% of midtrimester abortions and in 48% of the placentas from stillborn infants of more than 28 weeks' gestation, chorioamnionitis, deciduitis, and/or villitis were present. Because of this very high percentage of lesions, which suggests an infectious causation, it is mandatory that studies be performed that might identify pathogens. One third of the stillborn infants of more than 28 weeks' gestation were associated with maternal complications (diabetes, preeclampsia, and urinary tract infection), in addition to placental fetal vasculopathy, ischemia, infarcts, and chorangiosis (villous capillary hyperplasia). We emphasize the use of the placenta for the recognition of maternal diabetes.

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