• Vol. 37 No. 7, 598–600
  • 15 July 2008

Placental Calcification in Pseudoxanthoma Elasticum



Introduction: Pseudoxanthoma elasticum (PXE) is an inherited multisystem disorder of the elastic tissue and the objective of this case report is to correlate ultrasonographic and histological appearances of placental calcification in PXE.

Clinical Picture: We report a case of a 37-year-old white woman with PXE, whose antenatal imaging showed a markedly echogenic placenta due to extensive calcification confirmed on postpartum placental histology.

Outcome: There were no maternal or fetal complications in the antenatal period. A healthy baby of appropriate maturity and weight was delivered via Caesarean section and remained well at 6 months.

Conclusion: The majority of cases of PXE is caused by mutations in the ABCC6 gene. Serious complications in pregnancy can include gastrointestinal haemorrhage, congestive heart failure and cardiac arrhythmia but has not been shown to be associated with markedly increased fetal loss or adverse reproductive outcomes as reported in previous literature. Apart from the cosmetic deterioration of the abdominal skin, there were few serious complications and most have normal pregnancies. Obstetric prognosis is dependent on the vascular damage caused by the illness. There is no basis for advising women with PXE to avoid becoming pregnant, and most pregnancies in PXE are uncomplicated.

Pseudoxanthoma elasticum (PXE) is an inherited multisystem disorder of the elastic tissue leading to skin disease as well as ocular and cardiovascular complications. Although earlier literature on pregnancy in PXE contained reports of severe complications, most patients show no serious complications during pregnancy.

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