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Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1997 Dec;177(6):1395-401.

Increased placental apoptosis in intrauterine growth restriction.

Author information

1
University Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Nottingham, United Kingdom.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

Our purpose was to investigate a possible role for apoptosis in the pathophysiologic mechanisms of intrauterine growth restriction.

STUDY DESIGN:

Placental samples were obtained from 43 uncomplicated third-trimester pregnancies and from 26 pregnancies complicated by intrauterine growth restriction. The definition used to identify cases of intrauterine growth restriction depended on three criteria: clinical evidence of suboptimal growth, ultrasonographic evidence of deviation from an appropriate growth percentile, and individualized birth weight ratios <10th percentile. Light microscopy was used to quantify the incidence of apoptosis. Electron microscopy and TUNEL (terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated deoxyuridine triphosphate nick end labeling) staining were used to confirm the occurrence of apoptosis.

RESULTS:

Quantification of apoptosis (medians and interquartile ranges) resulted in the following values: normal third trimester (n = 43) 0.14% of cells (0.08% to 0.20%) and intrauterine growth restriction third trimester (n = 26) 0.24% of cells (0.16% to 0.29%). The incidence of apoptosis was significantly higher in placentas from pregnancies with intrauterine growth restriction compared with normal third-trimester placentas (p < 0.01, Mann Whitney U test).

CONCLUSIONS:

These results suggest that apoptosis may play a role in the pathophysiologic mechanisms of intrauterine growth restriction.

PMID:
9423741
DOI:
10.1016/s0002-9378(97)70081-4
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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