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Updated: Jul 7 2018

Placental Components

  • Overview
    • Placenta
      • a barrier that prevents blood exchange between mother and fetus but allows exchange of oxygen, carbon dioxide, and nutrients
      • composed of two components
        • fetal
        • maternal
  • Fetal component
    • Tertiary chorionic villi
      • villi that grow from the chorion to increase the surface area for exchange
      • villi that have grown in size, branched, and vascularized
      • inner layer derived from cytotrophoblast
      • outer layer derived from syncytiotrophoblast
        • secretes hCG to maintain the production of progresterone from the corpus luteum during the 1st trimester
        • hCG is a heterodimer that has the same alpha subunit as FSH, LH, and TSH, but beta subunit is what differentiates the hormones
  • Maternal component
    • Decidua basalis
      • derived from the endometrium of the uterus
      • shed from mother after birth
      • mother's blood fills the lacunae and gas and nutrient exchange occurs across the fetal portion of the placenta
  • Placental complications
    • Normal
      • attaches in superior posterior part of uterus
    • Placenta previa
      • attaches in inferior part of uterus covering internal os, leading to bleeding as uterus dilates during pregnancy
    • Placenta
      • accreta
        • attaches deep in uterus and invades into myometrium but not entirely
      • increta
        • invades entire thickness of myometrium
      • percreta
        • penetrates entire thickness of myometrium and into serosa of uterus leading to possible attachment to bladder or rectum
    • Placenta abruptio
      • prematurely detaches from uterus, associated with maternal hypertension
    • Preeclampsia
      • sudden development of the following after week 20 of gestation
        • maternal hypertension greater than 160/110 mm Hg
        • proteinuria
        • can progress to eclampsia (above conditions plus seizures)
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