The correlation of ultrasonographic placental architecture with placental histology in the low-risk primigravid population

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Abstract

Aim:

To determine the association, if any, between placental architecture findings assessed ultrasonographically at 22 and 36 weeks and placental histology.

Methods:

There was prospective recruitment of 1011 low-risk primigravids from the antenatal clinic at the Rotunda Hospital, Dublin, Ireland. Ultrasound of the placenta was performed at 22 and 36 weeks and histological assessment was made of the placenta of all participants.

Results:

Complete data pertaining to ultrasound and placental histology was available for 810 women (80%). Placental calcification on ultrasound in the third trimester was associated with a higher incidence of placental infarction identified following placental histology (80.0% vs. 21.5%; P=0.009: r=0.115). The placental thickness on ultrasound in the second trimester was less in cases complicated by chorioamnionitis (2.62 cm vs. 3.07 cm; P=0.039: r=–0.176). Chronic villitis was associated with a statistically significant increased incidence of antenatal placental infarction identified on ultrasound in the third trimester (10.7% vs. 1.9%; P=0.020: r=0.113). Intervillous thrombi occurred more frequently in cases with reduced placental thickness on ultrasound in the second trimester (3.0 cm vs. 3.3 cm; P=0.035: r=–0.171).

Conclusions:

Antenatal ultrasound of the placenta may aid detection of placental disease, particularly in the identification of placental infarction.

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