Placental venous lakes refer to a phenomenon of formation of hypoechoic cystic spaces centrally within the placenta. Finding placental lakes during a second trimester ultrasound scan is not associated with any uteroplacental complication or with an adverse pregnancy outcome. They can, however, be abnormal if very diffuse or if seen very early in pregnancy.
Placental venous lakes are a common occurrence, reported to occur in approximately 20% of pregnancies.
They usually result from perivillous fibrin deposition with cystic change within areas of subchorionic fibrin.
Their presence tends to be associated with:
- increased placental thickness
- placenta accreta spectrum and abnormal placental villous adherence
- placental insufficiency, especially if seen early in pregnancy 5
- the presence of placental lakes is associated with increased maternal serum alpha-feto protein (MSAFP) levels
- relatively well defined hypoechoic regions within the placenta
- colour Doppler imaging may show low-velocity laminar flow within.
- placental chorangioma: shows marked internal vascularity on colour Doppler imaging
- placental anatomy
- placental developmental abnormalities
- placenta previa
- spectrum of abnormal placental villous adherence
- abnormalities of cord insertion
- abruptio placentae
- placental pathology
- vascular pathologies of placenta
- placental infections
- placental masses
- molar pregnancy
- twin placenta
- 1. Thompson MO, Vines SK, Aquilina J et-al. Are placental lakes of any clinical significance? Placenta. 23 (8-9): 685-90. Placenta (link) - Pubmed citation
- 2. Reis NS, Brizot ML, Schultz R et-al. Placental lakes on sonographic examination: correlation with obstetric outcome and pathologic findings. J Clin Ultrasound. 2005;33 (2): 67-71. doi:10.1002/jcu.20086 - Pubmed citation
- 3. Elsayes KM, Trout AT, Friedkin AM et-al. Imaging of the placenta: a multimodality pictorial review. Radiographics. 29 (5): 1371-91. doi:10.1148/rg.295085242 - Pubmed citation
- 4. O'Brien W, O'brien WT, Sr. Top 3 Differentials in Radiology, A Case Review. Thieme Medical Pub. (2009) ISBN:1604062266. Read it at Google Books - Find it at Amazon
- 5. Jauniaux E, Nicolaides KH. Placental lakes, absent umbilical artery diastolic flow and poor fetal growth in early pregnancy. Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol. 1996;7 (2): 141-4. doi:10.1046/j.1469-0705.1996.07020141.x - Pubmed citation
Synonyms & Alternative Spellings
|Synonyms or Alternative Spelling||Include in Listings?|
|Placental venous lake||✗|