Abruptio placentae in the baboon (Papio spp.)

M. H. Schenone, N. Schlabritz-Loutsevitch, J. Zhang, J. E. Samson, G. Mari, R. J. Ferry, G. B. Hubbard, E. J. Dick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Introduction: Placental abruption is a serious condition that increases perinatal morbidity and mortality. Clinical prevention and treatment options are limited, especially in human preterm deliveries. Knowledge of the mechanisms that keep the placenta in place during pregnancy is critical for developing strategies for the prevention of abruption. Failure of physiological transformation of spiral arteries has been described as a major contributing factor of the placental abruption development. Baboons (Papio spp.) share striking similarities with humans in regard to placental structure, utero-placental blood flow, and fetal development; however, the mode of trophoblast invasion is shallow in baboons. This fact prompted the hypothesis that the incidence of placental abruption will be increased in baboons compared to humans. Material and methods: Baboon placentas were collected between 2002 and 2008. Two independent veterinary pathologists evaluated the slides. A certified physician pathologist performed additional histology. Results: Placental abruption was diagnosed in 22 baboons among 2423 live births during the study period (0.9% prevalence). The most common clinical presentations were fetal demise and vaginal bleeding. The most common pathological findings were intraplacental hemorrhages with or without hematoma formation (86.4%). Other findings consisted of neutrophil infiltration (50%), decidual necrosis (22.7%), decidual vascular congestion and inflammation, villous congestion and retroplacental hemorrhage/hematoma (each 18.2%). These pathologic findings were the same for term and preterm deliveries. Conclusion: This is the first systematic study of placental abruption in non-human primates, analyzing a large colony of baboons. Despite differences in trophoblast invasion, the clinical features observed in placental abruption affecting baboons resembled those reported in humans. The cluster of placental pathological findings in baboons also agreed with clinical reports, but the prevalence of these findings differed between baboons and humans. We discuss a mechanism of anti-abruption forces that offset shallow trophoblast invasion observed in baboons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)278-284
Number of pages7
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2012


  • Abruptio
  • Non-human primates
  • Pathology
  • Placenta

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Developmental Biology


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