Placenta Bilobata

Placenta is a body organ and it basically connects the fetus to the uterine wall so that it can take nutrients from mother’s blood. This was the fetus is also able to exchanged gases and eliminate its waste as well. The placenta basically functions as a fetomaternal organ. It has two components one of them is fetal placenta which develops from the same egg and sperm that form the fetus. The other one is maternal placenta which basically is formed from the maternal uterine tissue. So it has two origins fetal and maternal. In case of abnormalities placenta can have multiple lobe. One such condition is bilobed placenta which is also known as placenta bilobata.

Placenta has a discoid shape and it has a diameter of 15-20cm. It weighs about 500gm and is about 2.5 cm thick at the center. Placenta is usually formed in the upper uterine system and connects the mother’s blood supply with the fetus. The placenta has many functions which include respiratory, nutritive, excretory, production of enzymes etc. All these are very essential for the fetus. In case of respiration oxygen and carbon dioxide simply diffuse across the placenta. This way the fetus can easily get oxygen from the mother’s blood and exchange carbon dioxide. Placenta also helps to transfers nutrients to the fetus. The nutrients can be transferred by simple diffusion, fa

Human placenta shown a few minutes after birth...
Image via Wikipedia

cilitated diffusion, active diffusion and pinocytosis. The nutrients transferred include water, electrolytes, glucose, amino acids, proteins etc. Also the waste products such as urea are passed out to the mother’s blood by diffusion.

The placenta also produces many essential enzymes like oxytocinase, insulinase, heat stable alkaline phosphatase, etc and this help the fetus grow and survive. It also produced pregnancy associated plasma proteins. The placenta also functions as a barrier and lets some things pass through and not the others. It allows antibodies, hormones, antibiotics, etc to pass through which are very essential for the fetus as later this helps to build their immune system. However large molecules such as insulin cannot pass through. It also produces hormones for the fetus. Placenta in case of abnormalities can have different shapes. Placenta bilobata is included in this very category. In this condition the placenta consists of two equal lobes which are connected by placenta tissues.

In case of placenta bilobata the two or three lobes of placenta are separated by a membrane in equal sizes. It is not certain how this multiple lobed placenta is formed, however this is considered as an abnormal shape. In some cases when you have a tow lobed placenta in the first pregnancy then there are greater chances of this happening in the second pregnancy. This shows that there might be genetic origins of this condition. In this case of placenta bilobata the umbilical cord inserts into the membranes between the two lobes, however there are times when it just inserts into one of the the larger lobes. There are certain outcomes of having multiple lobed placentas one of them is bleeding in the first trimester of pregnancy. The second one is failure of one of the lobes to separate at the time of delivery which results in postpartum hemorrhage.

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