Placental cotyledon

Placental cotyledon

Structure of the placenta, with a placental cotyledon marked in rectangle.

Anatomical terminology

In human development, the cotyledons are the approximately 15-25 separations of the decidua basalis of the placenta, separated by placental septa.[1] Each cotyledon consists of a main stem of a chorionic villus as well as its branches and subbranches etc.[1]


The cotyledons receive fetal blood from chorionic vessels, which branch off cotyledon vessels into the cotyledons, which, in turn, branch into capillaries.[2] The cotyledons are surrounded by maternal blood, which can exchange oxygen and nutrients with the fetal blood in the capillaries.


  1. 1 2 Page 565 in: Varney, Helen; Helen Varney Burst; Kriebs, Jan M.; Gegor, Carolyn L. (2004). Varney's midwifery. Boston: Jones and Bartlett Publishers. ISBN 0-7637-1856-4.
  2. Gordon, Z.; Elad, D.; Almog, R.; Hazan, Y.; Jaffa, A. J.; Eytan, O. (2007). "Anthropometry of fetal vasculature in the chorionic plate". Journal of Anatomy. 211 (6): 698–706. doi:10.1111/j.1469-7580.2007.00819.x. PMC 2375851Freely accessible. PMID 17973911.

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