Perinatal Pathology Service

The Perinatal Pathology group provides diagnostic services to patients at UC San Diego, including review of placentas from complicated pregnancies, gravid hysterectomies, and fetal and neonatal autopsies.

Placentas are generally reviewed from pregnancies affected by maternal disorders (including, but not limited to, hypertensive disorders of pregnancy such as preeclampsia or HELLP syndrome, as well as underlying maternal diseases such as diabetes or lupus), neonatal complications (including, but not limited to, preterm birth, fetal growth restriction, admission to the neonatal ICU), or placental abnormality (e.g. true knot of the umbilical cord or retained placenta).  A thorough gross and histologic review of the placenta has the potential to confirm underlying obstetric and neonatal diseases, and identify the etiology for, and/or ascertain the recurrence risk of, such complications.


Fetal and neonatal autopsies are performed following informed consent from parent(s), and in close collaboration with the consulting physician(s).  Complete (or limited) autopsies are performed, following the family's wishes, in conjunction with placental examination, not just to identify the cause of death, but also to pinpoint potential underlying conditions which could have affected this pregnancy and to ascertain recurrence risk for subsequent pregnancies. 

We are available for consultation on both placental pathology and fetal/neonatal autopsy cases. Ordering recommendations for the Perinatal Pathology Service Can be found here:

UC San Diego Health | Tests (

Meet the Faculty:


Mana M. Parast M.D., Ph.D., Director of Perinatal Pathology Service

Omonigho Aisagbonhi M.D., Ph.D.