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BJOG. 2006 May;113(5):580-9. Epub 2006 Mar 27.

Morphometric placental villous and vascular abnormalities in early- and late-onset pre-eclampsia with and without fetal growth restriction.

Author information

1
Department of Surgical Research, NPIMR, Northwick Park Hospital, Harrow, UK.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate placental morphology in pregnancies complicated by early- and late-onset pre-eclampsia (PET) with and without fetal growth restriction (FGR) using stereological techniques.

DESIGN:

A total of 69 pregnant women were studied. Twenty women had pregnancies complicated by PET, 17 by FGR and 16 by both PET and FUR; the remaining 16 were from gestational-age-matched controls. Each group was further classified into early onset (<34 weeks) and late onsets (>34 weeks) based on gestational ages.

SETTING:

NPIMR at Northwick Park and St Marks Hospital.

POPULATION:

placentae from pregnant women.

METHODS:

Formalin-fixed, wax-embedded sections stained with anti-CD34 antibodies and counterstained with haematoxylin.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Volumes, surface areas, lengths, diameters and shape factors of the villous tissues and fetal vasculature in the intermediate and terminal villi of all the groups studied.

RESULTS:

Terminal villi volume and surface area were compromised in early-onset PET cases, late-onset PET had no impact on peripheral villi or vasculature features. The morphology of the vascular and villous subcomponents in the intermediate and terminal villi was significantly influenced by late-onset FGR, whereas early-onset FGR caused a reduction in placental weight. Length estimates were not influenced by PET, FGR or age of onset. Intermediate arteriole shape factor was significantly reduced in late-onset FGR.

CONCLUSIONS:

Isolated early-onset PET was associated with abnormal placental morphology, but placentas from late-onset PET were morphologically similar to placentas from gestational-age-matched controls, confirming the existence of two subsets of this condition and supporting the hypothesis that late-onset PET is a maternal disorder and not a placental disease.

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