Placental weight centiles adjusted for age, parity and fetal sex
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionPlacenta. 2022, 117, 87-94. 10.1016/j.placenta.2021.10.011
Introduction The weight of the placenta can be indicative of efficacy in nutrient and oxygen supply. Furthermore, it has been suggested that a measure of the placenta's ability to adequately supply nutrients to the fetus can be found in the relationship between birth weight and placental weight expressed as a ratio. Our aim was to develop age adjusted placenta weight and birth weight to placenta weight ratio reference curves that are stratified by maternal parity and fetal sex. Methods We included singleton, non-anomalous births with a gestational age inclusive of 28 + 0 weeks to 42 + 6 weeks. Excluded were pregnancies of multiplicity, fetuses with congenital abnormalities, stillbirths and pregnancies that had placental complications (ie placenta previa or abruption). Generalised additive model for location, shape and scale (GAMLSS) was used to fit reference curves. Results We stratified 97,882 pregnancies by maternal nulliparity status and fetal sex. Extensive assessment model goodness-of-fit showed appropriate modeling and accurate fit to the four parameters of distribution. Our results show accurate model fit of the reference curves to the data. We demonstrated that the influence that parity has on the placenta weight is far greater than that exerted by fetal sex, and that the difference is dependent on gestational age. Discussion This is the largest presentation of age and parity adjusted placenta weight and feto-placental weight ratio reference ranges to date. The difference observed between nulliparous and multiparous pregnancies could be explained by biological memory and the remnants of maternal endo-myometrial vascularity after the first pregnancy.