Umbilical Cord Coiling

  • Peter G. J. NikkelsEmail author
  • Luiz Cesar Peres


The umbilical cord has a characteristic coiling pattern with both arteries coiling around the umbilical vein. This architecture is intrinsic to the cord and cannot be undone by unwinding in the opposite direction, unlike torsion. The number of coils divided by the length of the cord is the umbilical coiling index (UCI). The coiling index is preferably determined using fresh unfixed placentas. Abnormal cord coiling, defined as a hypo-coiled (UCI <10th centile) or hyper-coiled (>90th centile), is associated with fetal demise, fetal intolerance to labour, fetal growth restriction, chorioamnionitis and fetal vascular malperfusion.


Umbilical cord coiling Hyper-coiling Hypo-coiling Fetal vascular malperfusion Perinatal mortality Intrauterine fetal death 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PathologyUniversity Medical Center UtrechtUtrechtThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of HistopathologySheffield Children’s NHS Foundation TrustSheffieldUK

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