Relationship between placental thickness and growth parameters in normal Nigerian foetuses

  • CC Ohagwu
  • PO Abu
  • UO Ezeokeke
  • AC Ugwu
Keywords: Placental thickness, foetal growth parameters, ultrasound, singleton fetuses, Nigerian women

Abstract

To investigate the relationship between placental thickness and foetal growth parameters in normal singleton Nigerian foetuses. Six hundred and sixty-six pregnant Nigerian women were studied by
ultrasound in a cross sectional prospective study at the Federal Medical Centre, Makurdi, Nigeria. The pregnancies were in the second and third trimesters, and were not complicated by either maternal or
foetal disease. BPD and AC were measured, and the placental thickness was measured at the insertion of the umbilical cord. A nomogram of placental thickness was formulated while the relationship
between placental thickness and, BPD and AC was investigated by Pearson’s correlation analysis. Mathematical relationships between placental thickness and, BPD and AC were derived by regression
analysis. Values were expressed as mean ± standard deviation. Statistical tests were two-tailed with p<0.01 to indicate statistical significance.The maximum mean placental thickness of 45.09 ± 6.37 mm was recorded at 39 week of gestation. There was a fairly linear increase in placental thickness with gestational age. There was significant positive correlation between placental thickness and, BPD and AC in the second and third trimesters with both parameters having identical relationship with placental thickness. Placental thickness has a strong positive correlation with BPD and AC. Subnormal placental
thickness for a particular gestational age may be the earliest sign of intrauterine growth retardation. Measurement of placental thickness should therefore be carried out routinely during obstetrics ultrasound scan.
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