Placental Delayed Villous Maturation is Associated with Evidence of Chronic Fetal Hypoxia

Normal development of the human placenta, referred to as villous tree maturation, entails formation of the vasculosyncytial membranes. These structures develop by the approximation of syncytiotrophoblasts with the villous capillary endothelium and constitute the most efficient sites of gaseous exchange in the placenta. Defective maturation of the villous tree can lead to deficient vasculosyncytial membranes, implicated in the high incidence of hypoxic complications. Hypoxia, in turn, can stimulate production of erythropoietin, whereby increased fetal plasma or amniotic fluid concentrations of this hormone reflect fetal hypoxemia. 

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