In Vitro Computed Tomography of the Human Placenta

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A plastic holding device has been devised to allow in vitro computed tomography of term human placentas. Graded dilutions of iodinated contrast medium have been injected into the fetal placental circulation and into the intervillous space of placental lobules perfused with normal saline solution. Computed tomography in different orientations has imaged Borell's “jets” on the maternal side and cotyledonary vascular “puffs” on the fetal side of the placenta. Attenuation coefficients, before and after injection of contrast medium, may be used for quantitative investigation of the physiological placental circulation and possibly for diagnosing placental pathology.

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