Are Short Umbilical Cords Seen in Pathology Really Short?

Adanna Ukazu, Sitara Ravikumar, Natalie Roche, Debra S. Heller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Purpose: Short umbilical cords are associated with adverse perinatal outcomes. Clinicians may rely on measurements made by pathologists, which do not include portions of the cord remaining n the child or sent for blood gasses. Methods: This was a retrospective chart review of term placentas. Sequential cases from January through August 2017 were reviewed from the Pathology archive. Results: 198 placentas were recorded as either third trimester of mature, of which 146 were 37 or greater weeks of gestation. Of these 146, 142 had cords measuring less than 35 cm, the definition of short. Mean cord length was 19.6 cm. Of the 146 placentas, 50(34%) had had blood gases submitted. Conclusions: 34% of short cords by Pathology measurement had had blood gases sent. The fact that 142 out of 146 sequential placentas were recorded as “short” suggests an additional unmeasured loss of length due to cord attached to the infant. Pathology laboratory measurements should not be interpreted as truly short without clinical correlation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)359-362
Number of pages4
JournalFetal and Pediatric Pathology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 3 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


  • Placenta
  • perinatal
  • umbilical cord


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