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Accessory Lobe of Placenta

Last updated March 24, 2018

An Accessory Lobe of Placenta is a variation in the normal shape of the placenta. It is a small lobe of the placenta attached to the main disc through blood vessels. There can be one or more accessory lobes attached to the main placenta.


What are the other Names for this Condition? (Also known as/Synonyms)

  • Succenturiate Lobe of Placenta 

What is Accessory Lobe of Placenta? (Definition/Background Information)

Basic information on Accessory Lobe of Placenta is as follows:

  • The placenta is an organ that connects the developing fetus to the uterine wall. It is a disc shaped reddish brown structure that connects the fetus to the mother through the umbilical cord. The umbilical cord contains two umbilical arteries and one umbilical vein
  • The normal function of placenta is to supply nutrients and oxygen to the fetus from the mother’s blood and remove wastes from the fetal body
  • An Accessory Lobe of Placenta is a variation in the normal shape of the placenta. It is a small lobe of the placenta attached to the main disc through blood vessels. There can be one or more accessory lobes attached to the main placenta
  • A routine abdominal ultrasound scan during pregnancy can help establish the presence of an Accessory Lobe of Placenta
  • The condition is not associated with an increased risk of fetal anomalies and there are no specific signs and symptoms observed with it. However, there may be an increased risk of bleeding after delivery
  • With proper ante-natal care and appropriate management during delivery, the associated prognosis is excellent

Who gets Accessory Lobe of Placenta? (Age and Sex Distribution)

  • An Accessory Lobe of Placenta occurs in approximately 2 per 1000 pregnancies
  • There is no distinct racial, ethnic or geographical predilection observed

What are the Risk Factors for Accessory Lobe of Placenta? (Predisposing Factors)

Currently, no risk factors have been identified for an Accessory Lobe of Placenta. Research is being performed to identify the relevant risk factors.

It is important to note that having a risk factor does not mean that one will get the condition. A risk factor increases ones chances of getting a condition compared to an individual without the risk factors. Some risk factors are more important than others.

Also, not having a risk factor does not mean that an individual will not get the condition. It is always important to discuss the effect of risk factors with your healthcare provider.

What are the Causes of Accessory Lobe of Placenta? (Etiology)

  • An Accessory Lobe of Placenta is formed by non-involution of the chorionic villi, which means that some of the chorionic villi fail to disappear, resulting in the formation of an extra lobe of the placenta
  • Chorionic villi arise from embryonic membrane (chorion) and their function is to provide the maximum area of contact between maternal and fetal blood circulation
  • The disc shape of the placenta is due to the result of remodeling of placental tissue during its growth, wherein some chorionic villi disappear, leaving behind a disc-shaped placenta
  • This is not only efficient in helping supply nutrition to the growing baby, but also the disc shape helps conserve space within the pregnant uterus

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Accessory Lobe of Placenta?

There are no specific signs and symptoms associated with an Accessory Lobe of Placenta.

  • They are usually found during a routine ultrasound examination performed during pregnancy
  • An Accessory Lobe of Placenta is not associated with an increased risk of fetal anomalies

How is Accessory Lobe of Placenta Diagnosed?

An Accessory Lobe of Placenta is diagnosed by an ultrasound scan of the abdomen of the pregnant woman.

What are the possible Complications of Accessory Lobe of Placenta?

Complications due to an Accessory Lobe of Placenta could include:

  • Increased chances of post-partum hemorrhage due to retained placental tissue
  • Increased incidence of Vasa Previa: In Vasa Previa, the fetal blood vessels run over the maternal cervix with an increased risk of rupture and bleeding
  • Vessels connecting the main and Accessory Lobe of Placenta may rupture and causing fetal compromise

How is Accessory Lobe of Placenta Treated?

  • An Accessory Lobe of Placenta does not require any specific treatment. It is a variation in the shape of the placenta
  • There may be an increased risk of bleeding after delivery, which requires careful monitoring

How can Accessory Lobe of Placenta be Prevented?

  • Currently, there are no definitive methods available to prevent Accessory Lobe of Placenta
  • Proper ante-natal care is essential to ensure a healthy pregnancy and uncomplicated delivery

What is the Prognosis of Accessory Lobe of Placenta? (Outcomes/Resolutions)

  • The presence of an Accessory Lobe of Placenta does not result in a higher risk of fetal abnormalities
  • There is an increased risk of bleeding after delivery, which requires careful monitoring
  • The prognosis is excellent with suitable care and management during delivery

Additional and Relevant Useful Information for Accessory Lobe of Placenta:

According to one study, the incidence of an Accessory Lobe of Placenta was higher in pregnancies using in-vitro fertilization. During in-vitro fertilization, a man’s sperm and a woman’s egg are fused on a laboratory dish.

What are some Useful Resources for Additional Information?


References and Information Sources used for the Article:


Helpful Peer-Reviewed Medical Articles:


Reviewed and Approved by a member of the DoveMed Editorial Board
First uploaded: July 30, 2015
Last updated: March 24, 2018

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