Placental Pathology

The pathologist contributes to the treatment and diagnosis of both the mother and infant. Data from placental pathology can be critical in early neonatal care and in reproductive planning for the family, and it can provide risk assessment for neurologic outcome of the infant. Indications for pathologic examination include a systemic maternal disorders, poor pregnancy outcome (prematurity, perinatal death, asphyxia and intrauterine growth retardation), evidence of fetal or maternal infection and third-trimester bleeding. The individual cords should be examined by the pathologist to focus on common categories like placental injury, rare lesions of extreme severity and high recurrence risk, and findings of underlying fetal processes and how they each relate to different outcomes of adverse pregnancy. Placental pathology have clinical utility which provide findings relevant to the immediate care of the mother or baby, predictions of possible recurrence of any unpleasant events, diagnoses in knowing  adverse pregnancy outcomes and reports in medico legal investigation of long-term morbidity and perinatal mortality. Pathologic finding relevant to immediate care would be peripheral abscesses on the surface of the umbilical cord in a premature placenta.

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