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Paediatric histopathology primarily receives placentas but does not receive pregnancy remains below 13 weeks 6 days gestation.

Paediatric histopathology follow the Royal College of Pathologists tissue pathway for histological examination of placenta.

Internal placenta requests

For MFT referral, ensure that the order is made for Paediatric Histology and that the smart text for ‘Placenta’ is used, please do not use free text.

External placenta requests

Always complete a ‘Request form for Histological Examination of Placenta’. These can also be obtained from Paediatric Histology if required.

Please note, all samples MUST be delivered directly to Paediatric Histopathology not to a transport drop off point and double check you have correctly labelled the sample with the patient’s details and included a request form.

It is best practise to fix the placenta including all the length of cord that is not taken for genetics examination* and membranes in 10% formalin as soon as possible to prevent autolysis.  The pot should be sufficiently large enough to allow fixation and optimum histological examination, about 10 to 12 inches in diameter and larger than the diameter of the placenta.


(Last reviewed May 2023)