Marginal cord insertion

Last revised by Dr Yuranga Weerakkody on 06 Feb 2022

Marginal cord insertion, also known as a 'battledore insertion', is a type of abnormal cord insertion.

Insertion of the umbilical cord within <2 cm from the placental margin is described as marginal cord insertion (usually defined as <2 cm 5 although some references define it as <1 cm 3,6). Whereas lateral insertion of the umbilical cord >2 cm from the placental margin is described as eccentric cord insertion.

The estimated incidence is at ~7% 1 of singleton pregnancies but ~25% of twin pregnancies. Hence, it is very important to locate the umbilical cord in all patients, particularly in high-risk pregnancy.

Some authors state that there is no increased risk 5.

Progression into a velamentous cord insertion as a result of "placental trophotropism" can be seen in later stages of pregnancy. Second-trimester marginal cord insertion can be associated with increased likelihood for low birth weight, pre-term delivery and composite adverse obstetrical and neonatal outcomes 8.

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: marginal cord insertion
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  • Figure 2: eccentric cord insetion
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  • Case 1
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  • Case 2
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