Circumvallate placenta is a placental morphological abnormality, a subtype of placenta extrachorialis in which the fetal membranes (chorion and amnion) "double back" on the fetal side around the edge of the placenta. After delivery, a circumvallate placenta has a thick ring of membranes on its fetal surface.
The fetal surface is divided into a central depressed zone surrounded by a thickened white ring which is incomplete. The ring is situated at varying distance from the margin of the placenta. The ring is composed of a double fold of amnion and chorion with degenerated decidua vera and fibrin in between. Vessels radiate from the cord insertion as far as the ring and then disappear from the view. Complete circumvallate placenta occurs in approximately 1% of pregnancies. It is diagnosed prenatally by medical ultrasonography, although one 1997 study of prenatal ultrasounds found that "of the normal placentas, 35% were graded as probably or definitely circumvallate by at least one sonologist," and "all sonologists misgraded the case of complete circumvallation as normal." The condition is associated with perinatal complications such as placental abruption, oligohydramnios, abnormal cardiotocography, preterm birth, and miscarriage.
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