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Medical Term:

placental membrane


the semipermeable layer of fetal tissue separating the maternal from the fetal blood in the placenta; composed of: 1) endothelium of the fetal vessels in the chorionic villi, 2) stromata of the villi, 3) cytotrophoblast (negligible after the fifth month of gestation), and 4) syncytiotrophoblast covering the villi; the placental membrane acts as a selective membrane regulating passage of substances from the maternal to the fetal blood.

Synonym(s): placental barrier

© Copyright 2017 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review Date: Sep 19, 2016.