International Journal of Gynecological Pathology, January 2001; 20(1): 102, review written by Dr. Stanley J. Robboy of Duke University Medical Center, Department of Pathology, in Durham, NC.

Midwifery Today, Winter 1999, Number 52, page 62, review written by Jill Cohen, associate editor and lay midwife in Eugene, Oregon.


From the International Journal of Gynecological Pathology "Little gems are sometimes found by accident. This spiral bound booklet, a concise guide for use at the cut up bench, has several stated objectives. The most important of these goals is how to examine the placenta. The text, written as an introductory guide and therefore omitting long laborious descriptions and detail, presents a sound anatomical description of the placenta as it evolves over its 9-month lifetime. Sketches illustrate the anatomy with time-related changes in segments that are easy to comprehend and useful as refreshers.

The book contains three sections. Section 2 "Placental Pathology" follows the relatively standard presentation for most texts and includes developmental anatomy, preparation of the placenta for examination, and the gross examination itself. It covers lesions found in the umbilical cord, extraplacental membranes, basal plate (maternal surface), parenchyma, multiple gestations, and finally gestational trophoblastic disease.

The remaining two sections (clinicopathological correlation and clinical definitions) have substantial duplication. Hopefully future editions will consolidate these parts. Each of the two sections organizes the material differently. The latter is arranged strictly alphabetically. The former divides the diseases into three clusters: fetal indication (e.g. hydrops fetalis, twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome, etc.), maternal indication (e.g. cocaine use, HIV infection, preeclampsia, Rh incompatibility), and placental indication (circumvallate placenta, hydatidiform mole, meconium staining, etc.).

Each disease is presented in similar logical format: definition, clinical associations, gross features, microscopic features, etiology and significance. A novel presentation is for "gross features", where a summary box lists the features present in diagnostic or easy-to-grasp terms, especially as they may differ for common underlying etiologic disorders. Thus separate gross descriptions are given of the placenta for underlying diseases such as systemic lupus, idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, and scleroderma.

This very useful book is a bargain at its price."
Written by Stanley Robboy, MD, Duke University Medical Center Pathology Department. Published in the Internal Journal of Gynecological Pathology, January 2001, 20(1):102. Reprinted by permission.


From Midwifery Today "This well thought out book was written for any practitioner who examines the human placenta. Its authors have done a thorough job of reviewing this amazing organ, its function, and how it plays into the development of mother and baby. They have even done an extensive review of the political/legal ramifications when birth results in poor outcomes.

One of the midwife's most important jobs is to examine the placenta when it is born. But first, in order truly to understand what it is we are seeing, we must understand how the placenta works. This book covers such topics as correlations based on the placenta, maternal and fetal pathology, all forms (normal and abnormal) of placental development including hydatidiform moles, cysts, placenta creta and other abnormal findings, and evidence of alcohol or drug use. It describes fetal indications of placenta use and why certain conditions cause response in the placenta and how it may affect the baby. As well, the authors take a detailed look at placental pathology from time of fertilization through the ten months of pregnancy, giving the reader a month by month look at what is happening.

This excellent resource lists commonly used abbreviations and contains twenty-three tables of clinical pathology and numerous illustrations and schematics that help clarify the text. It is designed for quick reference, quite handy when the need arises. I had a great time exploring this book - it answered all my questions and gave me new insights."
Reviewed by Jill Cohen, associate editor at Midwifery Today and lay midwife in the Eugene, Oregon area. Published in Midwifery Today, Winter 1999, Number 52, page 62. Reprinted by permission.