Umbilical cord

A.Prof Frank Gaillard and Dr Henry Knipe et al.

The umbilical cord is a fetal organ and connects the placenta to the uterus and is a vital passage for nutrients, oxygen and waste products to and from the fetus. 

The umbilical cord inserts into the centre of the placental bulk and into the fetus at the umbilicus. Variations in insertion can occur. For example, eccentric insertion and velamentous insertion may be seen 1. It measures 55-60 cm in length with a thickness of 2.0-2.5 cm 3. The normal cord has two arteries and one vein 2-3:

  • paired umbilical arteries (branches of the internal iliac artery) carry deoxygenated blood from the fetus to the placenta
  • umbilical vein runs carries oxygenated blood from the placenta to the fetus
Anatomy: Abdominopelvic
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Article information

rID: 23761
System: Obstetrics
Section: Anatomy
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • The umbilical cord
  • Umbilical cord anatomy

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