Wallace, J.M., Bhattacharya, S. and Horgan, G.W.
Placenta 34(3), 269-274.
Placental weight; Placental efficiency; Percentile charts; Parity; Gender
||ntroduction: The weight of the placenta is a crude but useful proxy for its function in vivo. Accordingly extremes of placental weight are associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes while even normal variations in placental size may impact lifelong health. Centile charts of placental weight for gestational age and gender are used to identify placental weight extremes but none report the effect of parity. Thus the objective was to produce gender and gestational age specific centile charts for placental weight in nulliparous and multiparous women.
Methods: Data was extracted from the Aberdeen Maternity and Neonatal Databank for all women delivering singleton babies in Aberdeen city and district after 24 weeks gestation. Gestational age specific centile charts for placental weight by gender and parity grouping (n = 88,649 deliveries over a 30 year period) were constructed using the LMS method after exclusion of outliers (0.63% of deliveries meeting study inclusion criteria).
Results: Tables and figures are presented for placental weight centiles according to gestational age, gender and parity grouping. Tables are additionally presented for the birth weight to placental weight ratio by gender. Placental weight and the fetal:placental weight ratio were higher in male versus female deliveries. Placental weight was greater in multiparous compared with nulliparous women.
Discussion: We present strong evidence that both gender and parity grouping influence placental weight centiles. The differences at any given gestational age are small and the effects of parity are greater overall than those of gender. In contrast the birth weight to placental weight ratio differs by gender only.
Conclusion: These UK population specific centile charts may be useful in studies investigating the role of the placenta in mediating pregnancy outcome and lifelong health.