Cerebral palsy and thrombi in placental vessels of the fetus: insights from litigation

Hum Pathol. 1997 Feb;28(2):246-8. doi: 10.1016/s0046-8177(97)90114-3.


Fetal vessels in the placentas of 11 of 15 infants with cerebral palsy contained thrombi. An alternate basis for the injury was identified in the four placentas without thrombi. Autopsy findings in one infant who died at age 1 month confirmed the presence of cerebral thrombi and infarcts. It is concluded that thrombotic events in utero may explain the pathogenesis of many instances of cerebral palsy and that identification of a coagulopathy in parents could potentially identify those at risk and provide a basis for preventive treatment during pregnancy.

MeSH terms

  • Cerebral Palsy / etiology*
  • Chorionic Villi / blood supply*
  • Chorionic Villi / pathology
  • Female
  • Fetal Diseases / pathology*
  • Fetal Diseases / physiopathology
  • Fetus / pathology*
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Parity
  • Placenta Diseases / pathology*
  • Placenta Diseases / physiopathology
  • Pregnancy
  • Thrombosis / embryology
  • Thrombosis / pathology*
  • Vascular Diseases