Reference > Anatomy of the Human Body > Page 61
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Henry Gray (1825–1861).  Anatomy of the Human Body.  1918.
 
of the embryo. The chorionic villi are at first small and non-vascular, and consist of trophoblast only, but they increase in size and ramify, while the mesoderm, carrying branches of the umbilical vessels, grows into them, and in this way they are vascularized. Blood is carried to the villi by the branches of the umbilical arteries, and after circulating through the capillaries of the villi, is returned to the embryo by the umbilical veins. Until about the end of the second month of pregnancy the villi cover the entire chorion, and are almost uniform in size (Fig. 25), but after this they develop unequally. The greater part of the chorion is in contact with the decidua capsularis (Fig. 34), and over this portion the villi, with their contained vessels, undergo atrophy, so that by the fourth month scarcely a trace of them is left, and hence this part of the chorion becomes smooth, and is named the chorion læve; as it takes no share in the formation of the placenta, it

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