Placental mesenchymal dysplasia: chronological observation of placental images during gestation and review of the literature

Gynecol Obstet Invest. 2013;75(4):217-23. doi: 10.1159/000350661. Epub 2013 Apr 13.


Placental mesenchymal dysplasia (PMD) is characterized by multiple hypoechoic vesicles which are similar to molar changes in the placenta; however, the process of such morphological changes of PMD during pregnancy has not been fully understood. We performed a review of all PMD cases published in English and identified 49 articles including 110 cases. With regard to the gestational age at which the multicystic pattern was seen, approximately 70% of cases were diagnosed at 13-20 weeks of gestation. Another characteristic feature of PMD is varicose dilation of fetal chorionic vessels. As many as 90% of cases were diagnosed as placenta with dilated fetal chorionic vessels in the third trimester. We also report a case of PMD which was found at 10 weeks of gestation according to ultrasonic molar patterns. Serial observations of the placenta using ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging revealed that multicystic lesions became smaller after 23 weeks. In contrast, dilated placental vessels on the fetal side became apparent at 38 weeks. The present review highlights that placental vesicular lesions of PMD may precede dilation of fetal chorionic vessels during pregnancy. It also indicates the potential of a gradual reduction in size of PMD's placental vesicular lesions by serial study of placental images.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chorion / diagnostic imaging
  • Chorion / pathology
  • Female
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Mesoderm / diagnostic imaging
  • Mesoderm / pathology
  • Placenta / diagnostic imaging
  • Placenta / pathology
  • Placenta Diseases / diagnostic imaging*
  • Placenta Diseases / pathology*
  • Pregnancy
  • Ultrasonography, Prenatal*