Placental findings in late-onset SGA births without Doppler signs of placental insufficiency

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Objectives To describe placental pathological findings in late-onset small-for-gestational age (SGA) births for which Doppler signs of placental insufficiency are lacking. Methods A series of placentas were evaluated from singleton pregnancies of SGA births (birth weight below the 10th percentile) delivered after 34 weeks with normal umbilical artery Doppler (pulsatility index below the 95th percentile), that were matched by gestational age with adequate-for-gestational age (AGA) controls. Using a hierarchical and standardized system, placental lesions were classified histologically as consequence of maternal underperfusion, fetal underperfusion or inflammation. Results A total of 284 placentas were evaluated (142 SGA and 142 AGA). In the SGA group, 54.2% (77/142) of the placentas had weights below the 3rd percentile for GA while it was a 9.9% (14/142) in the AGA group (p < 0.001). Only 21.8% (31/142) of SGA placentas were free of histological abnormalities, while it was 74.6% (106/142) in the AGA group (p < 0.001). In the abnormal SGA placentas (111/142) there were a total of 161 lesions, attributable to MUP in 64% (103/161), FUP in 15.5% (25/161), and inflammation in 20.5% (33/161). Discussion In most placentas of term SGA neonates with normal UA Doppler histological abnormalities secondary to maternal underperfusion prevail, reflecting latent insufficiency in uteroplacental blood supply. This is consistent with the higher risk of adverse perinatal outcome reported in this population and underscores a need for new markers of placental disease. Conclusions A significant proportion of late-onset SGA births with normal umbilical artery Doppler may still be explained by placental insufficiency. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.




Parra-Saavedra, M., Crovetto, F., Triunfo, S., Savchev, S., Peguero, A., Nadal, A., … Figueras, F. (2013). Placental findings in late-onset SGA births without Doppler signs of placental insufficiency. Placenta, 34(12), 1136–1141.

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