Anthropometry of fetal vasculature in the chorionic plate

Zoya Gordon*, D. Elad, R. Almog, Y. Hazan, A. J. Jaffa, O. Eytan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Normal fetal development is dependent on adequate placental blood perfusion. The functional role of the placenta takes place mainly in the capillary system; however, ultrasound imaging of fetal blood flow is commonly performed on the umbilical artery, or on its first branches over the chorionic plate. The objective of this study was to evaluate the structural organization of the feto-placental vasculature of the chorionic plate. Casting of the placental vasculature was performed on 15 full-term placentas using a dental polymer mixed with colored ink. Observations of the cast models revealed that the branching architecture of the chorionic vessel is a combination of dichotomous and monopodial patterns, where the first two to three generations are always of a dichotomous nature. Analysis of the daughter-to-mother diameter ratios in the chorionic vessels provided a maximum in the range of 0.6-0.8 for the dichotomous branches, whereas in monopodial branches it was in the range of 0.1-0.3. Similar to previous studies, this study reveals that the vasculature architecture is mostly monopodial for the marginal cord insertion and mostly dichotomous for the central insertion. The more marginal the umbilical cord insertion is on the chorionic plate, the more monopodial branching patterns are created to compensate the dichotomous pattern deficiency to perfuse peripheral placental territories.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)698-706
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Anatomy
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2007


  • Arterial network
  • Blood vessels
  • Dichotomous and monopodial patterns
  • Placenta
  • Vascular corrosion casting


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