[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Preeclampsia is a disease of the placenta that results in widespread, multisystem, maternal vascular endothelial dysfunction and microangiopathy. It is multisystem disease that is clinically defined by new onset hypertension and proteinuria, typically presenting after 20 weeks of gestation. This nonspecific presentation often overlaps with other diseases. As such, the diagnosis remains challenging and relies on careful clinical assessment. The disease pathogenesis is complex, but is currently better understood. Despite novel research advances in understanding the pathogenesis of preeclampsia, to date there is no single diagnostic test available. However, meticulous antepartum care with careful assessment of preexisting maternal risk factors, understanding of the disease pathogenesis and recognition of the clinical manifestations will increase the likelihood of timely diagnosis and institution of appropriate interventions that can positively impact maternal and fetal outcomes.
Current Obstetrics and Gynecology Reports. 08/2013; 1(4).
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Severely-growth discordant monochorionic (MC) twins offer a unique opportunity to study fetal and placental growth based on a similar genetic background and maternal host environment where the healthy twin serves as an ideal control. Differences in development of monochorionic twins may therefore be due to differential epigenetic regulation of genes involved in placental development and function. Growth-discordant twins are known for abnormal angio-architecture in the placenta of the smaller twin. Since the reasons for this phenotype are mostly unknown this study was aimed to investigate expression and regulation of genes known to be involved in angiogenesis.We studied 10 severely growth-discordant monochorionic twin placentas (birth weight difference≥20%) without twin-twin-transfusion syndrome (TTTS) and 5 growth-concordant monochorionic twin placentas. Growth discordant twin placentas were phenotyped by histology. Placental mRNA expression of 88 angiogenesis related genes were measured by PCR array. Enzyme-linked immuno-sorbent assay (ELISA) and immuno-histochemistry were used to confirm PCR results. EpiTYPTER for DNA methylation was used to determine if methylation ratios were responsible for differential gene expression.The PCR array analysis showed significant mRNA up-regulation in the placental share of the smaller twin for several genes. These included Leptin (24.6 fold, p=0.017), Flt1 (fms-like tyrosine kinase 1, 2.4 fold, p=0.016) and Eng (Endoglin, 1.86 fold, p= 0.078). None of the other 84 angiogenesis related genes showed significant differences. ELISA confirmed significantly increased Leptin protein expression (49.22 vs. 11.03 pg/mL, p=0.049) in the smaller twin of the discordant growth cohort. Leptin expression in smaller twins' placentas was associated with elevated DNA methylation of the Leptin promotor region suggesting the inhibition of binding of a transcriptional activator / inhibitor in that region. We attempted to overcome the limitation of sample size by careful patient selection. We minimized any bias in placental sampling by random sampling from two different sites and by avoiding sampling from areas with grossly visible abnormalities using a standardized sampling protocol.In conclusion, the smaller twin's placenta is characterized by differentially-increased gene expressions for Flt1 and Eng mRNA that may be causally-associated with the villous pathology driven by abnormal feto-placental angiogenesis. The substantial up-regulation of Leptin mRNA may be epigenetically conferred and relevant to the post-natal risk of metabolic syndrome in IUGR offspring with placental pathology. Growth discordant MC twins offer unique insights into the epigenetic basis of perinatal programming.
Molecular Human Reproduction 07/2013; · 4.54 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVES: To review the association between associated ultrasound findings, placental pathology and prognosis in pregnancies complicated by massive subchorionic thrombo-hematoma(MTH)/Breus' mole. METHOD: We identified 14 cases of MTH from January 2004 to December 2012. MTH was defined by: > 1 cm thickness hematoma, and extensive (≥ 50%) involvement of the fetal surface of the placenta. Patient information, details of initial presentation and perinatal outcome were obtained from the manual and electronic chart records. Ultrasound findings were related to pregnancy outcomes and associated placental pathology. Participants were stratified based on birth outcome into survivors (live births, n = 7) and non-survivors (NND or IUFD/TOP, n = 7). RESULTS: All 14 cases of MTH were suspected on ultrasound and confirmed by pathology assessment. All cases in the non-survivors group had abnormal umbilical artery Doppler waveforms compared to none in the survivors (p = 0.02). All cases in the non-survivor group had extreme preterm deliveries (p = 0.02). Birth weight was significantly reduced in the non-survivor group (p = 0.001), and 5/7 cases were diagnosed with severe intrauterine growth restriction, compared to none in the survivor group (p = 0.02). CONCLUSION: MTH/Breus' mole may be diagnosed in the second trimester by ultrasound assessment of the placenta. Normal fetal growth and umbilical artery Doppler waveforms are associated with perinatal survival. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: : To estimate obstetric and neonatal outcomes after induction of labor at 37 weeks of gestation compared with expectant management in pregnancies complicated by fetal gastroschisis.
: The management of 296 pregnancies involving fetal gastroschisis (1980-2011) was reviewed from a single perinatal center. Ultrasound surveillance and nonstress testing were performed every 2 weeks from 30 weeks of gestation, weekly from 34 weeks of gestation, and twice weekly after 35 weeks of gestation until delivery. Labor was induced if fetal well-being testing was abnormal and, since 1994, labor was routinely induced at 37 weeks of gestation.
: Of 153 pregnancies reaching 37 weeks of gestation, labor was induced in 77 (26%) and 76 (25.7%) were allowed to labor spontaneously. There were no significant differences in mean maternal age (22 years in both), parity (56% compared with 66% nulliparous), presence of other fetal anomalies (12% compared with 9%), cesarean delivery rate (20% in both), 5-minute Apgar score less than 7 (10% compared with 12%), meconium at birth (36% compared with 49%), or respiratory distress syndrome (16% compared with 7%) between the induced and expectantly managed groups. However, neonatal sepsis (25% compared with 42%; P=.02) and a composite outcome of neonatal death and bowel damage (necrosis, atresia, perforation, adhesion; 8% compared with 21%; P=.02) were more common in expectantly managed pregnancies. Moreover, time to oral feeds (-3.4 days), time on total parenteral nutrition (-6.2 days), and hospital stay (-6.7 days) were reduced when labor was induced.
: In fetuses with gastroschisis, induction of labor at 37 weeks of gestation was associated with reduced risks of sepsis, bowel damage, and neonatal death compared with pregnancies managed expectantly beyond 37 weeks of gestation.
Obstetrics and Gynecology 05/2013; 121(5):990-8. · 4.80 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective: To assess the effectiveness of a multidisciplinary team approach to reduce severe maternal morbidity in women with invasive placenta previa. Methods: We conducted a prospective study of 33 women with placenta previa and increta-percreta (diagnosed by ultrasound and/or magnetic resonance imaging) delivering at Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, following the introduction in January 2008 of a team-based approach to women with this condition. We included women who delivered by June 2012. We reviewed antenatal outpatient and inpatient records for use of six pre-defined team components by the attending staff obstetrician: (1) antenatal maternal-fetal medicine consultation, (2) surgical gynaecology consultation, (3) antenatal MRI, (4) interventional radiology consultation and preoperative placement of balloon catheters in the anterior divisions of the internal iliac arteries, (5) pre-planned surgical date, and (6) surgery performed by members of the invasive placenta surgical team. Antenatal course, delivery, and postpartum details were recorded to derive a five-point composite severe maternal morbidity score based on the presence or absence of: (1) ICU admission following delivery, (2) transfusion > 2 units of blood, (3) general anaesthesia start or conversion, (4) operating time in highest quartile (> 125 minutes), and (5) significant postoperative complications (readmission, prolonged postpartum stay, and/or pulmonary embolism). Results: All 33 women survived during this time period. Two thirds (22/33) had either five or six of the six components of multidisciplinary care. Increasing use of multidisciplinary team components was associated with a significant reduction in composite morbidity (R2 = 0.228, P = 0.005). Conclusion: Team-based assessment and management of women with invasive placenta previa is likely to improve maternal outcomes and should be encouraged on a regional basis.
Journal of obstetrics and gynaecology Canada: JOGC = Journal d'obstetrique et gynecologie du Canada: JOGC 05/2013; 35(5):417-25.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: INTRODUCTION: Small ubiquitin-like modifiers (SUMO) conjugate to target proteins in a dynamic, reversible manner to function as post-translational modifiers. SUMOylation of target proteins can impinge on their localization, in addition to their activity or stability. Differential expression of deSUMOylating enzymes (SENP 1 and 2) contributes to altered mammalian placental development and function in mice. Severe preeclampsia (sPE) is associated with abnormal placental development and chronic ischemic injury. Extra- and intracellular stimuli/stressors that include hypoxic-activated pathways are known modulators of SUMOylation. In this current study we hypothesized that placentas from sPE patients will display up regulation in the SUMO regulatory pathway. METHODS: Utilizing qRT-PCR, immuno-blotting and Western techniques, we determined the expression levels of SUMO pathway genes in healthy and diseased placentas. We also exposed placental explants to hypoxia to study the effect on the SUMOylation pathway. RESULTS: We observed steady-state expression of SUMO1-3, SUMO-conjugated enzyme-UBC9 and deSUMOylating enzymes - SENPs, throughout normal gestation. An elevated level of free SUMO1-3 and SUMO-protein conjugates was observed in sPE placentas. Furthermore, placental UBC9 levels were strikingly increased in the same sPE patients. Hypoxia-induced SUMOylation in first trimester placental explants. DISCUSSION: Our data demonstrate an elevated steady-state of SUMOylation in sPE placentas compared with gestational aged-matched controls. The observed hyper-SUMOylation in sPE placentas correlates with elevated expression of UBC9 rather than with reduced expression of SENPs Hypoxia may contribute to alterations in placental SUMOylation pathway. CONCLUSION: Increased placental SUMOylation may contribute to the pathogenesis of serious placental pathology that causes extreme preterm birth.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective: The objective of this study was to determine whether a web-based education strategy could improve maternal knowledge of placental complications of pregnancy and reduce maternal anxiety in high risk-pregnancies. Methods: Prospective study in the Placenta Clinic at Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, Ontario. Maternal demographics and Internet usage were recorded at the patient's baseline appointment. Placental knowledge was determined using structured verbal and illustrative assessments. The six-item State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) was administered to assess baseline maternal anxiety. Women were asked to visit the Placenta Clinic website for a minimum of 15 minutes before their follow-up appointment, at which time their placental knowledge and STAI assessments were repeated. Results: Eighteen women were included in the study. Patient knowledge at the baseline appointment was generally poor (median score 10.5 out of a maximum score of 27, range 1 to 22), with major deficits in basic placental knowledge, placenta previa/increta, and preeclampsia. At the follow-up appointment, placental knowledge was significantly improved (median score 23, range 10 to 27; P < 0.001). Educational status (high school or less vs. college or more) had no effect on either baseline knowledge or knowledge improvement. Maternal anxiety at baseline (median score 12 out of a maximum score of 24, range 6 to 23) was significantly reduced at the follow-up appointment (median score 8.5, range 6 to 20; P = 0.005). Conclusion: Deficits in maternal knowledge of placental complications of pregnancy in high-risk pregnant women were substantial but easily rectified with a disease-targeted web-based educational resource. This intervention significantly improved patient knowledge and significantly reduced maternal anxiety.
Journal of obstetrics and gynaecology Canada: JOGC = Journal d'obstetrique et gynecologie du Canada: JOGC 04/2013; 35(4):334-9.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pregnancy is accompanied by several adaptations in the mother, such as increased blood volume, higher cardiac output and reduced peripheral vascular resistance. Inability to accomplish these changes places both her and her pregnancy at risk of major placental complications such severe pre-eclampsia (sPE) or severe intra-uterine growth restriction (sIUGR). sPE is characterized by wide-spread maternal vascular dysfunction expressed as increased systemic vascular resistance; this state is accompanied by elevated levels of anti-angiogenic factors and lower production of vasodilatory gases. One of the key molecules implicated in sPE pathogenesis is heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1), a rate-limiting enzyme that breaks down heme into carbon monoxide (CO), biliverdin and free iron. CO and bilirubin (a downstream product of biliverdin processing) account for the angiogenic, vasodilatory and anti-oxidant properties of HO-1. These collective actions of the heme breakdown metabolites generated by HO-1 offer protection against cytotoxicity, inflammation, hypoxia and other forms of cellular stress that are central to the pathogenesis of sPE. Placental HO-1 expression and exhaled CO levels are both lower in women with sPE, consistent with a pathogenic role of HO-1. In vitro experiments demonstrate that induction of HO-1 downregulates secretion of the anti-angiogenic factor soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase-1 (sFLT-1) and increases CO production. Advancing our understanding of regulatory pathways promoting placental HO-1 expression may offer new pharmacological tools to reduce maternal and perinatal morbidity in severe placental insufficiency syndromes, especially in women at greatest risk of developing sPE.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVES: Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) and pre-eclampsia are severe and clinically important manifestations of placental insufficiency. In the mouse, dual specificity phosphatase 9 (DUSP9) is critical to the normal development of the placenta, where knock-outs are growth restricted and have a placental phenotype similar to that seen in syndromes of human placental insufficiency. Our purpose was to characterize DUSP9 expression in normal human pregnancy and in cases of placental insufficiency. STUDY DESIGN: We used RT-PCR, immuno-histochemistry and Western blotting to characterize DUSP9 gene expression and protein levels across human gestation and in pregnancies complicated by severe IUGR and/or severe pre-eclampsia. DUSP9 promoter methylation was studied in pathologic and pre-term control placentas to investigate potential epigenetic regulation. First trimester villous explants and BeWo cells were treated with DUSP9 silencing RNA to determine the effect on downstream pathways. Placental hypoxia is a hallmark of pre-eclampsia; therefore explants were subjected to hypoxic culture conditions to determine the effect of oxygen on DUSP9 expression in vitro. RESULTS: DUSP9 expression was evident in villous trophoblast and declined during development. DUSP9 protein was significantly lower in severe pre-eclamptic placentas compared to severe growth restriction. This was not epigenetically mediated by promoter hyper-methylation, and the downstream pathway ERK1/2 was not significantly affected. DUSP9 expression in first trimester explants was significantly decreased by 74 ± 20% in hypoxic (3% oxygen) culture conditions. In BeWo cells and explanted placental villi treated with DUSP9 silencing RNA, expression of DUSP9 was down-regulated by 61% and 62% respectively. There was a trend to increased phosphorylation of the downstream target ERK1/2 in DUSP9 down-regulated BeWo cells and explanted placental villi. CONCLUSION: DUSP9 protein levels were markedly suppressed in severe pre-eclampsia, but not in severe IUGR. This suppression might be attributable to the prolonged hypoxic conditions found in pre-eclampsia.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The trophoblast transcription factor glial cell missing-1 (GCM1) regulates differentiation of placental cytotrophoblasts into the syncytiotrophoblast layer in contact with maternal blood. Reduced placental expression of GCM1 and abnormal syncytiotrophoblast structure are features of hypertensive disorder of pregnancy - preeclampsia. In-silico techniques identified the calcium-regulated transcriptional repressor - DREAM (Downstream Regulatory Element Antagonist Modulator) - as a candidate for GCM1 gene expression. Our objective was to determine if DREAM represses GCM1 regulated syncytiotrophoblast formation. EMSA and ChIP assays revealed a direct interaction between DREAM and the GCM1 promoter. siRNA-mediated DREAM silencing in cell culture and placental explant models significantly up-regulated GCM1 expression and reduced cytotrophoblast proliferation. DREAM calcium dependency was verified using ionomycin. Furthermore, the increased DREAM protein expression in preeclamptic placental villi was predominantly nuclear, coinciding with an overall increase in sumolylated DREAM and correlating inversely with GCM1 levels. In conclusion, our data reveal a calcium-regulated pathway whereby GCM1-directed villous trophoblast differentiation is repressed by DREAM. This pathway may be relevant to disease prevention via calcium-supplementation.
PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(1):e51837. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: The aims of this study were to develop a nomogram of umbilical cord diameter (UCD) for pathologic examination of the placenta, to identify the umbilical cord components responsible for variations in UCD, and to examine the relationship between UCD and other placental pathologic features and perinatal outcome. STUDY DESIGN: We prospectively collected 497 umbilical cords between 18 and 41 weeks' gestation over a 1-year period. Fresh-tissue UCD were grouped according to gestational age and compared to sonographic and histological measurements. Associations between UCD percentile and placental pathologic findings or obstetrical outcomes were examined. RESULTS: Mean UCD increased with gestational age until a plateau at 1.0 cm in the third trimester, a value that was 0.56 cm less than sonographic measurements prior to delivery and 0.17 cm greater than UCD measured histologically. Umbilical cord components varied with UCD percentile, with umbilical vessel area increased in thick cords (p < 0.001) and Wharton's jelly area reduced in thin cords (p = 0.002). Thin umbilical cords were associated with at least one pathologic histological placental finding (p = 0.02), low placental weight (p < 0.001), single umbilical artery (p = 0.02), marginal cord insertion (p = 0.01), and low infant birth weight (p < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: This study provides reference curves for post-delivery UCD from 18 to 41 weeks' gestation for use by perinatal pathologists. We show that increased UCD is a function of increased umbilical blood vessel volume and decreased UCD is a function of decreased Wharton's jelly volume. UCD shows a strong association with placental and infant birth weight.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Gene expression analysis using semi-quantitative RT-PCR is a common tool in placental research. However the comparison of steady-state gene transcription between different clinical groups is dependent upon comparison of target mRNA data with mRNA obtained from so-called housekeeping (HK) genes whose steady-state transcription does not differ significantly between the groups. In this communication, we evaluated the performance of candidate HK genes across nine clinical groups commonly used in placental research. We used the GeNorm method to evaluate qRT-PCR data to determine the performance of candidate HKs.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To determine the utility of measuring maximum placental length in the second trimester to predict a small for gestational age placenta by weight at delivery in clinically high-risk women.
Placental dimensions determined by 2-dimensional (2-D) real-time ultrasound at 19-23 weeks' gestation were compared to post-natal placental weights and pathology in 95 high-risk patients with singleton pregnancies.
Maximum placental length <10.0 cm performed poorly (false positive rate 25.5%) for the detection of a small placenta by weight at delivery. Placental pathology examination revealed eccentric cord insertion to be an important explanation for poor screening test result, since this finding was significantly more common in the false negative group (length ≥10.0 cm, weight <10th percentile) compared with the true negative group (length ≥10.0 cm, weight ≥10th percentile) (15/28 vs. 9/38, Fisher's exact test, p = 0.005).
Prediction of reduced placental weight by 2-D ultrasound determination of maximum placental length in clinically high-risk pregnancies confounded by the phenomenon of asymmetric chorion regression. Refinement of 2-D ultrasound methods to include orthogonal plane measurements, or replacement by 3-D techniques is predicted to significantly improve the effectiveness of diagnosing small placentas in-utero.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Maternal placental syndromes (MPS)-gestational hypertension, pre-eclampsia and placental abruption/infarction-are more prevalent in women with features of the metabolic syndrome (MetSyn). Both MPS and the MetSyn predispose to left ventricular impairment and sympathetic dominance after delivery. Whether this translates into a higher risk of heart failure (HF) and cardiac dysrhythmias is not known.
To determine the risk of new onset of HF and dysrhythmias among women after a prior MPS-affected pregnancy.
A retrospective cohort study was carried out of 1,130,764 individual women with a delivery in Ontario between 1992 and 2009, excluding those with cardiac or thyroid disease 1 year before delivery. The risk of a composite outcome of a hospitalisation for HF or an atrial or ventricular dysrhythmia was compared in women with and without MPS, starting 1 year after delivery.
75,242 individuals (6.7%) experienced a MPS. After a median duration of 7.8 years, the composite outcome occurred in 148 women with MPS (2.54 per 10,000 person-years) and 1062 women without MPS (1.28 per 10,000 person-years) (crude HR=2.00, 95% CI 1.68 to 2.38). The mean age at composite outcome was 37.8 years. The HR was 1.61 (95% CI 1.35 to 1.91) after adjustment for demographic characteristics, diabetes, obesity, dyslipidaemia and drug dependence or tobacco use, as well as coronary artery disease or thyroid disease >1 year after delivery. The adjusted HRs were minimally reduced by further adjusting for chronic hypertension (1.51, 95% CI 1.26 to 1.80) and were higher in women with MPS plus preterm delivery and poor fetal growth (2.42, 95% CI 1.25 to 4.67).
Women with MPS are at higher risk of premature HF and dysrhythmias, especially when perinatal morbidity is present.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Distal villous hypoplasia is a form of placental villous maldevelopment that has the potential to cause significant intrauterine growth restriction with adverse consequences for fetal viability, neurodevelopmental outcome and adult cardiovascular health. It is characterized by a sparse, poorly developed distal villous tree with abnormally shaped, elongated, slender villi and widening of the intervillous space. Generally, villi show widespread trophoblast abnormalities with thinning of the villous trophoblast layer, reduction in cytotrophoblast numbers, evidence of a widespread increase in syncytiotrophoblast nuclear senescence and wave-like syncytial knots. Investigation of pregnancies with false positive serum screening tests for fetal aneuploidy/structural defects can help identify pregnancies at risk of placental insufficiency, particularly when combined with ultrasound assessment of placental morphology at 19–22 weeks. Identification of pregnancies with multiple abnormal tests of placental function permits high-risk specialist referral to optimize maternal-fetal outcome.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Oxytocin pretreatment of pregnant rat myometrium has been shown to reduce the contractions produced by further administration of oxytocin, as a function of the desensitization phenomenon. It is unclear whether this phenomenon affects the contractions produced by various prostaglandins that are used in the management of postpartum hemorrhage. The objective of this study was to investigate the contractile effects of various prostaglandins after oxytocin pretreatment and to compare their relative efficacies in vitro on pregnant rat myometrial strips. Myometrial samples from 29 pregnant Wistar rats at term were isolated and pretreated with oxytocin (10(-8) mol/L, experimental group) or physiological salt solution (control group) for 1 hour. They were then subjected to dose-response testing with oxytocin (n = 32), PGF2α (n = 16), dinoprostone (n = 14), alprostadil (n = 14), or misoprostol (n = 15) with cumulative increases in the organ bath concentrations from 10(-10) to 10(-5) mol/L. The contractile efficacies of various prostaglandins and oxytocin during the dose response were analyzed using mixed linear modeling and compared between the groups. There was no significant difference in the amplitude, frequency, motility index (amplitude × frequency), or area under the curve of all prostaglandins between the groups pretreated with oxytocin and the control group. However, there was a significant decrease in the frequency (P = .02) and motility index (P = .05) in the dose-response curves of oxytocin in the groups pretreated with oxytocin compared with the control groups. Overall, oxytocin produced superior contractions compared with all other prostaglandins, while dinoprostone and misoprostol produced the weakest contractions. The uterotonic effects of various prostaglandins are not affected by oxytocin desensitization; and despite desensitization, oxytocin provides superior contractions compared with the prostaglandins.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Since pregnancies with a male fetus have higher perinatal complications attributed to placental dysfunction, including severe pre-eclampsia and intrauterine growth restriction, the objective of our study was to formally evaluate placental pathology for a placental origin of these sex-specific differences.
Retrospective study at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, Canada. Identification of 262 singleton pregnancies affected by severe pre-eclampsia and/or intrauterine growth restriction who delivered between 22 and 32 weeks' gestation from 2000 to 2010. Detailed placental pathology was reviewed, and data from 140 pregnancies with male fetuses were compared with 122 pregnancies with female fetuses. A comparison group of 40 unaffected pregnancies who delivered in the same gestational range was used to determine baseline rates of placental pathology.
Detailed placental pathology, including placental development/differentiation, velamentous umbilical cord insertion, maternal-fetal interface pathology, villous infarction, hemorrhagic lesions, villous development, and fetal vascular under-perfusion.
Impaired placental development and differentiation was equally common amongst males (73/140, 52.1%) and females (69/122, 56.6%). Male placentas exhibited significantly higher rates of chronic deciduitis (17.9% vs. 9.0%; relative risk [RR] 1.98, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.02-3.86) and velamentous umbilical cord insertion (9.5% vs. 1.7%; RR 5.66, 95% CI 1.30-24.6), and a significantly lower frequency of villous infarction (55.4% vs. 73.7%; RR 0.75, 95% CI 0.62-0.90) than female placentas. No significant differences were noted for other lesions.
Fetal sex exerts a differential effect on the placental pathology that mediates severe pre-eclampsia and/or IUGR. Placental pathology at birth may provide insight into the mechanisms linking adverse in utero events with long-term adult disease since, for example, a male tendency to an inflammatory pathology at the maternal-fetal interface may be linked to the excess risk of coronary artery disease.