Frozen Section of Placental Membranes and Umbilical Cord Academic Article uri icon

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  • OBJECTIVES: We devised a rapid frozen section (FS) assessment technique of placental tissues and performed the first rigorous assessment of FS relative to conventional workup. METHODS: We evaluated 49 placentas with clinical/gross suspicion of intra-amniotic infection by FS. Relative to formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded tissues, we compared the grading, staging, and interobserver variability. RESULTS: FS assessment demonstrated a sensitivity of 0.91 (95% CI, 0.77-0.97) and a specificity of 0.60 (95% CI, 0.36-0.80) for the presence of chorioamnionitis and a sensitivity of 0.89 (95% CI, 0.75-0.96) and a specificity of 0.69 (95% CI, 0.42-0.87) for the presence of funisitis. The χ2 goodness of fit for grade and stage in both placental membrane and umbilical cord sections was significant (P<.001). There was no significant difference in interobserver variability in comparison with permanent section results (P=0.06). CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that FS is a reasonably sensitive screening technique, correlating well with conventional assessment, without significantly different interobserver variability.


  • Mahe, Etienne
  • Hamid, Jemila
  • Terry, Jefferson
  • Jansen, Jan Willem
  • Bourgeois, Jacqueline
  • Arredondo-Marin, Jorge

publication date

  • August 1, 2014