Phyllis C. Huettner, M.D., Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO
Placental examination frequently provides vital information to obstetricians and families about the cause of a stillbirth or neonatal death, preterm delivery, congenital anomaly or developmental problem. Yet many pathologists are unsure of the significance of pathologic findings in the placenta. In this course we will review the indications for and the components of a thorough placental examination. We will briefly discuss placental development and how the histologic features change with gestational age. Utilizing a case-based approach, we will comprehensively review the gross and microscopic placental features, pathogenesis and clinical implications for both mother and baby of intrauterine infections, maternal diseases, placental circulatory disorders, abnormalities of implantation, multiple gestation, and abnormalities of the fetal membranes and umbilical cord. The diagnosis of hydatidiform mole, particularly how to differentiate partial mole, early complete mole and spontaneous abortion, will also be reviewed. The role of ancillary techniques such as immunohistochemistry, flow cytometry and molecular techniques will be considered where applicable.
Upon completion of this course participants should be able to perform a thorough placental examination, understand the gross and microscopic features as well as the clinical significance of major abnormalities in the placenta, and be able to differentiate complete hydatidiform mole from partial hydatidiform mole and other forms of abnormal gestation.
This course will be of most interest to general pathologists and pathologists in training. A limited number of loan sets of glass slides will be available for advance mailing. After the meeting all participants will receive a CD with representative histologic images from the cases. A syllabus highlighting diagnostic features, differential diagnosis and discussion points, along with useful references will be distributed at the course.