Question 9

Describe the functions of the placenta (80% of marks). Outline the determinants of placental blood flow (20% of marks).

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College Answer

Many candidates provided a broad overview of functions of the placenta but lacked detail. Placental blood flow has maternal and foetal components, though most only considered the maternal circulation to the placenta and didn't mention the foetal vessels. Many were not specific as to what blood vessels were described. Many stated that uterine blood flow is not autoregulated, however went on to describe myogenic and neuro-humoral mechanisms of autoregulation.