EGA Institute for Women's Health


Placental Inflammatory Syndromes

To understand the cause of placental inflammatory syndromes and prevent their recurrence in future pregnancies:

Chronic inflammatory placental disorders are a group of rare but devastating gestational syndromes associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes. We are researching 3 related conditions: villitis of unknown etiology (VUE), chronic histiocytic intervillositis (CHI) and massive perivillous fibrin deposition (MPFD). The hallmark of these disorders is infiltration of the placental architecture by maternal immune cells (macrophages, CD8+ T lymphocytes and plasma cells) and disruption of the intervillous space, where gas exchange between the mother and fetus occurs. These disorders can only be detected through histopathological examination of the placenta after pregnancy has ended. All three are associated with a significant risk of recurrence in subsequent pregnancies. 

In collaboration with an immunology team from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, Dr Emily Cornish (MRC Clinical Research Fellow) and Dr Thomas McDonnell are investigating a maternal immune profile associated with placental inflammatory disorders and recurrent pregnancy loss.

We are also pioneering the repurposing of anti-transplant rejection therapy to improve pregnancy outcomes for women with recurrent placental inflammatory disorders.