Placental infarction refers to a localized area of ischemic villous necrosis. It is a significant cause of placental insufficiency.
A localized infarction can occurs in up to ~12.5% (range 5-20%) of all gestations.
It usually results from an interrupted maternal blood supply
Placental infarcts are more common at the periphery of the placenta.
- post-term pregnancies
- maternal hypertension
- retroplacental hemorrhage
- other maternal medical conditions
- anticardiolipin antibodies
- chronic nephritis
- systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)
- diabetic microangiopathy
Most placental infarcts are difficult to diagnose on ultrasound. They may on occasion be seen as a hypoechoic region with thick hyperechoic rim and/or as a well circumscribed mixed/hyperechoic pattern mass.
Treatment and prognosis
Those that occur at the placental margins are usually of no clinical significance at this location. An infarction in the first or second trimester within the center of the placenta or with extensive involvement of the placenta (more than 50%) is much more concerning.
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