Fetal growth restriction (FGR) is a leading cause of perinatal morbidity and mortality. The majority of FGR cases are idiopathic and are associated with placental insufficiency, which can result from placental thrombosis. Evidence suggests that Dermatan Sulfate (DS) is an important anti-coagulant in placentae of uncomplicated pregnancies. This study hypothesised that the expression of biglycan proteoglycan, a source of DS, is decreased in idiopathic FGR placentae compared with placentae from uncomplicated pregnancies. This study aimed to determine biglycan mRNA, protein expression and spatial distribution in idiopathic FGR placentae compared with the placentae from gestation-matched controls. Biglycan mRNA expression, protein expression and spatial distribution was determined in 26 idiopathic FGR-affected placentae and 27 placentae from gestation-matched controls (27-40 weeks gestation) using real-time PCR, immunoblotting and immunohistochemistry, respectively. Mean biglycan mRNA expression was significantly decreased in FGR placentae compared with control placentae (2.87 +/- 0.55, (n = 26) vs. 4.48 +/- 0.85, (n = 27); t-test p = 0.01).