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Placental thickness: a sonographic parameter for estimation of gestational age

Meenambiga Balakrishnan, Thendral Virudachalam.

Background: The aim and objective of the study was to evaluate the placental thickness as a sonographic parameter for estimation of gestational age, to find out if a correlation exists between the placental thickness and maternal age, parity and menstrual age, to identify the differences in ultrasonographic placental thickness with advancing gestational age based on implantation site.
Methods: The present study was conducted in the department of obstetrics and Gynecology, Thanjavur Medical College. Patients with known LMP, >11 Weeks GA, singleton pregnancies with no fetal anomalies and with no associated medical or obstetrical complications were included. With 2D USG machine, Along with fetal biometry, placental thickness was measured at its midposition or at the level of cord insertion. Patients were followed until delivery.
Results: Out of 2100 women, 120 didnít turn up. Hence 1980 patients were included. Using Pearson correlation, correlation between placental thickness and maternal age, gestational age were analysed. There is statistically significant correlation between GA and placental thickness (p < 0.01). The value of mean placental thickness increases with advancing gestational age almost matching from 20th to 35th week. There is no statistically significant difference between placental thickness with advancing gestational age based on implantation site (p=0.16).
Conclusions: The measurement of placental thickness is an important parameter for estimation of fetal age, it is helpful in cases where exact duration of pregnancy is not known (between 20 and 35 weeks) where the placental thickness almost matches with gestational age. It can also be used as a predictor of LBW, IUGR, hydrops fetalis.

Key words: Placental thickness, Ultrasonographic gestational age

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