Miscarriage is a frequent complication of human pregnancy: ∼50% to 70% of spontaneous conceptions are lost prior to the second trimester. Etiology of miscarriage includes genetic abnormalities, infections, immunological and implantation disorders, uterine and endocrine abnormalities, and lifestyle factors. Given such variability, knowledge regarding causes, pathophysiological mechanisms, and morphologies of primary early pregnancy loss has significant gaps; often, pregnancy losses remain unexplained. Pathologic evaluation of miscarriage tissue is an untapped source of knowledge. Although miscarriage specimens comprise a significant part of pathologists' workload, information reported from these specimens is typically of minimal clinical utility for delineating etiology or predicting recurrence risk. Standardized terminology is available, though not universally used. We reintroduce the terminology and review new information about early pregnancy losses and their morphologies. Current clinical terminology is inconsistent, hampering research progress. This review is a resource for diagnostic pathologists studying this complex problem.
- Early pregnancy loss
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine