METHOD AND MATERIAL: Fresh, vaginally delivered placentae from ten normotensive pregnant women and nine women with pre-eclampsia were carefully dissected and 4 gm each of amnion, chorion laeve, placental plate chorion, fetal placenta (fetal surface of the placenta) and maternal placenta (surface of the placenta attached to the uterine wall) were obtained. These tissues were then thoroughly washed in a 0.5 M phosphate buffer, pH 7.5, at room temperature and then individually homogenized for one minute in 4 ml of the same buffer. After centrifugation the supernatant was removed. The pellet was re-suspended in buffer, re-homogenized and then centrifuged. The supernatant was removed and the procedure was repeated once again and the three supernatants of each tissue were pooled. Endothelin-1 was estimated by RIA. All results are presented as mean+/-SEM. Statistical analysis was performed using students 't' test for unpaired samples and a 'p' value of <0.05 was considered significant.
RESULTS: In tissues from normotensive pregnant women, no significant differences were evident in endothelin-1 concentrations in the chorion laeve, fetal placenta and maternal placenta but were significantly higher than those in the amnion and placental plate chorion (p<0.01). In tissues from pre-eclamptic women, no significant differences were evident between endothelin-1 concentrations in the chorion laeve, placental plate chorion and fetal placenta. Mean endothelin-1 concentration in the amnion and maternal placenta were significantly lower than those in chorion laeve, placental plate chorion and fetal placenta (p<0.01). Endothelin-1 concentrations were significantly higher in the amnion, chorion laeve, placental plate chorion and fetal placenta from women with pre-eclampsia when compared to tissues from normotensive pregnant women (p<0.01).
CONCLUSIONS: Endothelin-1 levels were significantly higher in the placental tissues from women with pre-eclampsia. Endothelin-1, being a powerful vasoconstrictor, could cause significant vasoconstriction in the placental vasculature, and alterations in endothelin-1 levels in placental vasculature may therefore have a role in the pathogenesis of pre-eclampsia.
CASE REPORT: The patient is a 41-year-old lady who suffered first trimester miscarriages in all her thirteen pregnancies. The relevant clinical investigations revealed neither significant nor helpful findings in determining the cause of recurrent miscarriages. Histological findings in each except one of the submitted conceptual tissue showed similar features of histiocytic aggregates primarily within the intervillous spaces, a characteristic description of CHI. One of the samples showed degenerative changes.
DISCUSSION: Practicing pathologists are not familiar with the histological features of CHI and this may be a potential pitfall in routine examination of POCs. Recognising this entity allows for accurate diagnosis and hence better management. The aetiology remains unclear, although an immunopathological basis are being explored.
CASE REPORT: A 35-year-old woman delivered a stillborn female fetus at 33 weeks of gestation. No fetal anomaly was detected. Examination of the umbilical cord showed multiple strictures, located 4.5 cm and 20 cm from the placental insertion site. Microscopically, the stricture site showed Wharton's jelly being replaced by fibrosis with presence of vascular thrombosis.
DISCUSSION: Umbilical cord stricture is uncommon and has been described to be associated with intrauterine fetal death and a possibility of recurrent. There is a need to counsel the parents and close fetal surveillance in subsequent pregnancy is advise since the risk of recurrent remains uncertain.