Comparison of placental elasticity in normal and pre-eclamptic pregnant women by acoustic radiation force impulse elastosonography

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The aim of this research was to study and compare placental elasticity with acoustic radiation force impulse (ARFI) elastography in pre-eclamptic and normal pregnancies.


A total of 107 singleton pregnancies in the third trimester (38 healthy control subjects, 34 patients with gestational hypertension, and 35 pre-eclampsia patients) were included in the study. ARFI elastography was used to determine the placental elasticity in the three predetermined regions of the placenta (the fetal edge, maternal edge, and central part of the placenta). The obstetrical data regarding grayscale and Doppler ultrasonography and perinatal outcomes were reviewed. A mean placental shear wave velocity cut-off value that predicts the presence of pre-eclampsia was determined.


The shear wave elasticity values in the pre-eclampsia group in all three regions were significantly higher than in the gestational hypertension and healthy control groups (P = 0.001). The most significant difference was found in the peripheral edge of the placenta from the fetal surface in the pre-eclampsia group (P = 0.001).


The stiffness of the placenta determined by the ARFI technique is significantly higher in pre-eclampsia patients. ARFI elastography of the placenta might be used as a non-invasive and easy method in the diagnosis and evaluation of pre-eclampsia as a supplement to the already existing methods.

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