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Flashcards in Repro 8.1 the placenta Deck (50)
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Why does the placenta take precedence in the beginning of pregnancy?

The whole pregnancy relies on this, it needs to be fully formed and functional to substain the embryo.


Why is week 2 of embryonic development known as the week of 2s?

-2 distinct layers form

outer cell mass

inner cell mass


What cavities are present in week 2?
(the time of the bilaminar disc?)

blastocyst cavity
amniotic cavity


Which embryonic space grows substantially at the beginning of pregnancy?

The amniotic cavity- it grows to surround the developping embryo.

It's growth compromises the space of the chorionic cavity.


When does the yolk sac disappear?

When the GIT forms


What is found on the chorionic membrane?

Villi like structures which act to increase the surface area and help with the transport needed for the embryo.

Chorionic villi.


What happens during implantation of the embryo?

-It is interstitial- happens within a tissue
-the conceptus breaches the uterine epithelium and implants within the stroma.
-invasiveness of the process can cause some blood loss which can be mistaken for a menstrual period.


What happens as the needs of the foetus increase?

The placental membrane become progressively thinner, reducing the barriers to diffusion.


What does the term 'heamomonochorial' mean?

There is only one layer of trophoblast separating the maternal blood from the foetal capillary wall.


What are the aims of implantation?

-To establish a basic unit of exchange between the foetus and the mother (Villi)

-The anchor the placenta within the endometrium

-to estabilsh as maternal blood flow within the placenta.


What are the features of the:
Primary villi
Secondary villi
Tertiary villi?

primary- just projections of the trophoblast, so made only of cytotrophoblast and syncitiotrophoblast

Secondary- develop a mesenchyme core, some vessels begin to develop allowing exchange to begin

tertiary- fetal vessels fully developped, exchange happening.


What is placenta previa?

implantation in the lower uterine segment

Can lead to haemorrhage in pregnancy, and fetus must be delivered by C section (Growing over the internal Os of the cervix, so the birth canal is occluded.


What are pre-decidual cells?

Cells within the endometrium which control the implantation, making sure it;s not excessive or too little.


What's the effect of having no decidual cells within the fallopian tubes?

If an ectopic pregnancy occurs there is no control over implantation, so it's excessive and can easily lead to rupture of the fallopian tubes and haemorrhage.

This paired with the fact the tissue of the fallopian tubes is not suitable to grow an embryo makes it an innaprpriate site for implantation.


What are the spiral arteries?

They are formed during the menstrual cycle and develop during pregnancy.
They aim to make a high flow (to meet demands of fetus) whilst maintaining a low resistance vascular bed.

This is ideal for the exchange needed to maintain the foetus.


What normally happens to the spiral arteries during pregnancy?

Trophoblast invades the spiral arteries, so they become lined by foetal tissue, which reduces the resistance and increases transport.

Helps to maintain the high flow, low resistance blood supply.


In pre-ecclampsia, what happens to the spiral arteries?

They are not modified enough, remodelling doesnt happen, so not properly lined with trophoblast tissue (invasion is not enough).


What is the effect of excessive invasion of the spiral arteries?

myometrium invasion,

at parturition this will result in improper shearing of the placenta.


What can happen if there is incomplete invasion?

-placental insufficiency (will lead to poor growth and development of the feotus)


In monozygotic twinning, the sharing of the membranes can vary, discuss different variations and the impact of this on survival.

-two amnions, two chorions
-two amnions but only one chorion
-shared chorion and shared amnion

The more sharing of membranes the increased risk of mortality.


When you look at the gross placenta, what features do you see?

-shiny looking due to amnion coverring
-large vessels (umbilical vessels radiate from around the umbillicus)
-umbilicus comes from the placenta and is also coverred by amnion


Give some differences of the first trimester placenta and the term placenta.

-first trimester placenta has a relatively thick barrier, whereas at term this has diminished to only syncytiotrophoblast and endothelium of foetal capillaries.

-in the first trimester, the cytotrophoblast layer is present under the syncytiotrophoblast, whereas this is lost in the term placenta.

-The term placenta has a much higher SA than the first trimester placenta due to more villi.


What is the function of the umbilical vein?

To bring oxygenated blood from the placenta to the foetus.


What is the function of the umbilical artery?

To take deoxygenated blood from the foetus to the placenta.


How many umbilibal arterys and veins does one foetus have?

2 umbilical arteries
1 umbilical vein


What functions does the placenta have?



What metabolic function does the placenta have?

-production of fatty acids, cholesterol and glycogen.


What is the significance of the placenta producing a lot of cholesterol?

It is the precursor for steroid hormones, and the placenta produces a lot of oestrogen and progesterone during pregnancy.


What classes of hormones are produced by the placenta?



Give examples of protein hormones produced by the placenta.

-Human Chorionic gonadotrophin
-Human chorionic somatomammotrophin
-Human Chorionic thyrotrophin
-Human chorionic corticotrophin.

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