Aims: Approximately 6–9% pregnancies are affected by fetal growth restriction (FGR). Placental alterations related to utero-placental insufficiency in FGR may induce placental vascular remodelling to the detriment of the fetus. The objective of this article was to study histopathological features of placentae in a cohort of preterm growth-restricted infants in comparison to a cohort of preterm appropriately grown infants. Methods: In a cohort of 40 preterm infants of 28–32 weeks' gestation, placental histopathology was evaluated by a histopathologist, who was blinded to the identity of the grouping. Twenty infants had FGR, while 20 were appropriate for gestational age (AGA). Predefined histopathological characteristics were assessed based on the Amsterdam Placental Workshop Group Consensus Statement. Results: The gestational age and birthweight of the FGR and AGA cohorts were 29.8 ± 1.3 versus 30 ± 0.9 weeks, P = 0.78 and 923 ± 168 versus 1403 ± 237 g, <0.001, respectively. Maternal vascular malperfusion, accelerated villous maturation and fetal vascular malperfusion were features that were significantly more common in FGR placentae. Conclusion: Based on the results of the present study, specific placental histopathological changes may be present in FGR placentae, which may reflect the effects of utero-placental insufficiency.
- fetal growth restriction
- vascular malperfusion