Our study aims to investigate the relationship between maximal placental thickness during routine anatomy scan and birthweight at delivery.METHODS:
This retrospective descriptive study analyzed 200 term, singleton deliveries in 2016 at Penn State Hershey Medical Center. We measured maximal placental thickness in the sagittal plane from the ultrasound images of the placenta obtained at the 18-21 weeks fetal anatomy screen. The relationship between placental thickness and neonatal birthweight was assessed using Pearson's correlation coefficient (r) with 95% confidence interval (CI). Logistic regression was used to assess the association with secondary binary outcomes of NICU admission and poor APGAR scores. Two sample T-tests were used to assess for differences attributable to medical comorbidities (pre-gestational diabetes, gestational diabetes, chronic hypertension, gestational hypertension, preeclampsia and eclampsia).RESULTS:
Placental thickness had a positive correlation with neonatal birthweight (r=0.18, 95% CI = (0.05, 0.32)). The mean placental thickness measured 34.2 ± 9.7mm. The strength of the correlation remained similar when adjusting for gestational age (r=0.20) or excluding medical comorbidities (r=0.19). Logistic regression analysis demonstrated no association between placental thickness and NICU admission, APGAR scores <7, or medical comorbidities.CONCLUSION:
Our ongoing study demonstrated a positive correlation between sonographic placental thickness and birthweight. Future prospective studies are warranted in order to further investigate whether a clinically significant correlation exists while adjusting for more covariates. As an abnormally thick placenta may indicate implantation problems of placental disease, another area of future study is correlation with placental pathology and adverse pregnancy outcomes.