An overview of development, function, and diseases of the placenta

Usha Verma, Nipun Verma

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

4 Scopus citations


The placenta is a maternal-fetal organ essential for the normal development of the fetus. The development of the placenta begins at the time of implantation of the blastocyst into the uterus. The mechanism of implantation and placentation is highly complex. The placenta undergoes different stages of development before developing a hemochorial relationship. In addition to providing nutrients, the placenta has immune, endocrine and excretory functions during the pregnancy. Placental diseases may include abnormal placental development, abnormal location, and maternal diseases affecting the placental functions. Certain maternal diseases cause changes at the anatomical and/or even molecular level, which result in abnormal villous vascularity, dysfunction of vasoactive components, or enhanced oxidative stress. The consequence of these anatomical and metabolic abnormalities may be impaired fetal oxygenation, and insufficient supply of nutrients to the fetus. In addition to placental ischemic diseases, systemic maternal infections involving the placenta can have profound effect on fetal development. Tumors originating from the placenta and maternal malignancies metastatic to the placenta are rare.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Placenta
Subtitle of host publicationDevelopment, Function and Diseases
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages30
ISBN (Print)9781626182479
StatePublished - 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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