Placenta, ultrasound scan

Placenta, ultrasound scan

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Credit: BSIP, CAVALLINI JAMES/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Placenta. Coloured ultrasound scan of part of the placenta (orange) of a five-month-old foetus (not seen). The placenta is the organ through which soluble substances, such as nutrients and waste products, pass between maternal and foetal blood. It also secretes hormones that maintain pregnancy. Ultrasound scanning is a diagnostic technique that sends high-frequency sound waves into the body via a transducer. The returning echoes are recorded and used to build an image of an internal structure. Routine ultrasound scans during pregnancy examine the position of the placenta to ensure it is not over the cervix.

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