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OBJECTIVE: To undertake an observational study to see whether first trimester placental vascularity, measured with a standardized power Doppler index: 3D-FMBV, is different in pregnancies which either develop pre-eclampsia or lead to term, normotensive small for gestational age (SGA) babies. METHODS: Women were scanned between 11 and 13+6 weeks. The placental volume (sPlaV) was estimated using our previously validated semi-automated tool. Estimates of 3D-FMBV were generated from the raw power Doppler signal for the whole utero-placental interface, UPI (FMBV-UPI) and 5mm into the placenta (FMBV-IVS). Differences in the placental volume and FMBV for pregnancies developing pre-eclampsia and resulting in term, normotensive SGA babies were compared with term, normotensive, appropriate for gestational age (AGA), controls. RESULTS: Results were available for 143 women. The placental volume (sPlaV) was reduced in both pre-eclampsia (p = 0.007) and term, normotensive SGA (p = 0.001) when compared with term normotensive AGA controls. 3D-FMBV estimates were significantly lower for pregnancies developing pre-eclampsia (FMBV-UPI, p = 0.03, FMBV-IVS, p = 0.01) but not for the normotensive SGA pregnancies (FMBV-UPI, p = 0.16, FMBV-IVS, p = 0.27). CONCLUSION: Pregnancies destined to develop pre-eclampsia are more likely to have small placentas with significantly reduced vascularity at 11-13 weeks. Those pregnancies which were normotensive throughout but resulted in an SGA baby delivered at term, had significantly smaller placentas but with similar vascularity to normotensive AGA pregnancies.

Original publication

DOI

10.1371/journal.pone.0178675

Type

Journal article

Journal

PLoS One

Publication Date

2017

Volume

12