The placenta serves as the physiologic bridge linking the maternal and fetal vasculature. The gross and microscopic examination of placental tissues can provide insight into a variety of maternal and fetal disorders. Placental pathology can identify maternal and fetal infection, perfusion abnormalities, features of maternal thrombophilia, and rarely, benign or malignant tumors. Some abnormalities, such as maternal floor infarct, massive perivillous fibrin deposition, and villitis of unknown etiology may affect subsequent pregnancies. Accurate identification of these lesions may affect future obstetric counseling and management.
Placental examination is particularly important in the setting of a stillborn infant. Pathologic examination can document, when present, the type, extent, and timing of placental injury as it relates to the cause of death. This type of consultation can provide a great deal of information to the medical team and grieving families. The results derived from placental examination provide answers and can serve to enhance communication between medical providers and families, which may mitigate medicolegal claims.
CellNetix pathologists examine approximately 3600 placenta and perinatal specimens each year under the direction of three fellowship trained Placental & Perinatal pathologists. Our Placental and Perinatal Pathology working group is led by Francois M. Cady, M.D. who is board certified in Anatomic Pathology, Clinical Pathology, Hematopathology, and holds additional fellowship training in Placental and Perinatal Pathology as well as Surgical Pathology.