The umbilical cord consists of so-called "mucous" or mesenchymal connective tissue, also called Wharton's jelly (widely scattered mesenchymal fibroblasts within soft, jelly-like ground substance of hyaluronic acid and chondroitin sulfate), surrounded by a thin stratified squamous epithelium and including typically two arteries and one vein. [The second vein in this image presumably represents one portion of a double U-shaped bend in this single vein.] The arteries lack internal and external elastic layers.
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Last updated: 5 April 2002 / dgk