The gross examination of the placenta is a critical element in proper evaluation. Issues of fixation are discussed both before and after gross examination. A detailed methodology of sequential examination is presented with details of creating membrane rolls. While most placentas can be studied using four blocks with cord, membranes and two to three sections of villous tissue, placentas with gross abnormalities often require more. It is very important to see villous tissue from “normal”-appearing areas away from and uninvolved by pathologic processes.
KeywordsMacroscopic examination Membrane roll Fixation of the placenta Blocking of the placenta