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J Matern Fetal Med. 1998 Sep-Oct;7(5):227-9.

Ballantyne syndrome: is placental ischemia the etiology?

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Portsmouth Naval Hospital, Virginia 23708-2197, USA.


Ballantyne syndrome is a condition in which the gravid patient essentially "mirrors" the in utero state of the hydropic fetus. The exact pathophysiological mechanism, however, is unclear. At 25 weeks gestation, a 28-year-old G3P2 presented with acute onset lower extremity edema, hyperuricemia, polyhydramnios, generalized pruritus, hemodilutional anemia, and pre-term labor. The human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) level was markedly elevated, at 570,020 mIU/ml. Postpartum, she developed a pre-eclampsia-like syndrome with oliguria and pulmonary effusions. Associated placental findings included a 8 x 7 x 7 cm chorangioma. Underlying placental ischemia, reflected by a hyperproliferative trophoblast, increased hCG secretion, and increased placental resistance may account for the maternal findings of Ballantyne syndrome.

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