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Placenta. 2008 Dec;29(12):1034-40. doi: 10.1016/j.placenta.2008.09.004. Epub 2008 Oct 19.

Screening for placental insufficiency in high-risk pregnancies: is earlier better?

Author information

1
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Mount Sinai Hospital, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To compare a profile of placental function between the first and second trimesters in pregnancies at high risk of adverse perinatal outcomes attributable to placental insufficiency.

STUDY DESIGN:

Prospective cohort study in 61 singleton pregnancies. Uterine artery Doppler and placental morphology (shape and texture) were determined at 11-13(+6) weeks and at 18-23(+6) weeks. First trimester (pregnancy-associated placental protein-A [PAPP-A]) and second trimester (total hCG and alpha fetoprotein [AFP]) serum biochemistry were determined. The two screening periods were compared for the prediction of a range of severe adverse perinatal outcomes (intrauterine growth restriction [IUGR], abruption, severe pre-eclampsia/HELLP syndrome, delivery<32 weeks, or stillbirth).

RESULTS:

Adverse perinatal outcomes occurred in 14 (23%) women; 3 (4.9%) losses<20 weeks, 2 (3.3%) stillbirths>20 weeks, 4 (6.6%) IUGR, 7 (11.5%) severe pre-eclampsia/HELLP syndrome, and 10 (16.4%) deliveries<32 weeks. Abnormal second trimester placental morphology was significantly associated with adverse outcome [+LR: 3.6, 95% CI: 1.3-8.5; -LR: 0.63, 95% CI: 0.36-0.93; p=0.025], as was > or = 1 abnormal second trimester tests [+LR: 5.9, 95% CI: 1.6-24; -LR: 0.68, 95% CI: 0.59-0.89; p=0.005] or > or = 2 abnormal second trimester tests [+LR: 3.6, 95% CI: 1.3-7.7; -LR: 0.58, 95% CI: 0.27-0.94; p=0.035]. No combination of first trimester tests significantly predicted severe adverse perinatal outcomes. A study sample size of 822 women with similar high-risk characteristics would be needed in order to refute the conclusion that present methods of first trimester screening are not inferior to second trimester screening for severe placental insufficiency (p=0.05, power 80%, z-test).

CONCLUSIONS:

In clinically high-risk pregnancies, prediction of adverse perinatal outcomes using placental function testing is more effective in the second compared with the first trimester.

PMID:
18930542
DOI:
10.1016/j.placenta.2008.09.004
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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