HISTOLOGICAL AND ULTRASTRUCTURAL CHANGES IN PLACENTAS OF PRE-ECLAMPTIC PATIENTS
Eman Mostafa Sadek*, Dina Helmy Mohamed*, Sameh Fawzy El Sonbaty**and Rabab Ahmed Rasheed**
Histology Department, Faculty of Medicine, *Cairo University and **October 6th University.
Background and aim: The normal fetal growth and survival depend on the proper development and function of placenta. Pre-eclampsia is a condition characterized by hypertension and proteinuria after the 20th week of gestation. It is a major cause of maternal and fetal morbidity and mortality. This study was designed to detect the histological and ultrastructural changes in pre-eclamptic placenta.Subjects and methods: Placental biopsies were obtained from 30 pregnancies complicated by pre-eclampsia and 5 normal control pregnancies. They were processed and stained with hematoxylin & eosin, and Masson’s trichrome stains. Other biopsies from same placentas were prepared for transmission & scanning electron microscopies. This was followed by morphometric measurements and statistical analysis of the results. Results: In pre-eclamptic placentas, light microscopy showed increased number of syncytial knots, sprouts and strands, in addition to statistically significant increase in collagen content of villous core with decreased fetal capillaries. Transmission electron microscopy revealed loss of apical microvilli of syncytio-trophoblast resting on a thick corrugated trophoblastic basement membrane. Straight terminal capillary loops with few branches and fibrin webs covering the villi surface were observed by scanning electron microscopy. Conclusion: Histological trophoblastic as well as fetal vascular changes were detected in pre-eclamptic placentas that could be attributed to the impaired gas and nutrient transfer to the fetuses of pre-eclamptic mothers.