Placental immaturity, endocardial fibroelastosis and fetal hypoxia

Fetal Diagn Ther. 2009;26(2):107-10. doi: 10.1159/000238105. Epub 2009 Sep 11.


We describe a term newborn who, after a normal gestational course, presented at birth with absent cardiac activity and no spontaneous breathing. Death occurred within 30 h. Autopsy revealed placental villous immaturity, multiple acute hypoxic lesions, but also chronic hypoxic lesions like endocardial fibroelastosis. This striking association of endocardial fibroelastosis and placental villous immaturity is reviewed and correlated with 2 other cases of placental villous immaturity that led to in utero death at 39 and 41 weeks of gestation. Placental villous immaturity must be suspected and looked for by both pediatricians and obstetricians in every case of stillbirth or perinatal asphyxia of unclear origin. In order to minimize the risk of recurrence in further pregnancies, elective cesarean section may be considered.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Endocardial Fibroelastosis / complications
  • Endocardial Fibroelastosis / diagnosis*
  • Female
  • Fetal Hypoxia / complications
  • Fetal Hypoxia / diagnosis*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Placenta / blood supply
  • Placenta / pathology
  • Placenta Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Placentation
  • Pregnancy