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Section 1: - Introducing the placental bed

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 July 2010

Robert Pijnenborg
Affiliation:
University Hospital Gasthuisberg, Leuven
Ivo Brosens
Affiliation:
Leuven Institute for Fertility and Embryology
Roberto Romero
Affiliation:
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Detroit
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Summary

Placental vasculature, in particular the relationship between maternal and fetal blood circulations, has been a contentious issue for a long time. In his magnificent Anatomy of the human gravid uterus William Hunter included the first drawing of spiral arteries (convoluted arteries), in what must have been the very first illustration of a human placental bed. The French anatomist Mathias Duval was probably the first to recognize the invasion of trophoblast into endometrial arteries, in this case in the rat. It it became clear that deep trophoblast invasion and associated spiral artery remodeling are essential for a healthy pregnancy. The actual depth of invasion was underrated for a long time, partly because of the increasing popularity of the decidual barrier concept. Early observations of trophoblast invasion into the spiral arteries set the stage for understanding the maternal blood supply to the placenta via the spiral arteries of the placental bed.
Type
Chapter
Information
Placental Bed Disorders
Basic Science and its Translation to Obstetrics
, pp. 1 - 10
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2010

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