Published: 2018-10-25

Placental thickness: an important parameter in determining gestational age and fetal growth during ANC scan

Dipali Kadam, Saurabh Patil, Meenal Jain


Background: Gestational Age (GA) is one of the most imperative parameters required for proper management in pregnancy. Routinely GA is estimated by sonography utilising Biparietal Diameter (BPD), Femur Length (FL), Abdominal Circumference (AC) and Head Circumference (HC). In any case, these parameters have some limitations. Hence, there is need to find other parameters that may complement the established fetal biometric parameters in predicting GA. The objective of the present study was to assess placental thickness in second and third trimester pregnancies and its relationship with fetal gestational age and its role in detecting LBW and IUGR

Methods: A cross sectional prospective study was carried out in three hundred pregnant women between 13 to 40 weeks of gestation, who came for routine antenatal sonography. Placental thickness was measured along with routine parameters. Placental thickness was measured at the level of umbilical cord insertion by two-dimensional ultrasonography.

Results: Correlation between the GA by LMP and Placental thickness by ultrasound was done by using Karl Pearson's Correlation(r). The values were expressed as mean + standard deviation. Correlation between placental thickness and gestational age was statistically significant as p value is <0.01. Placental thickness measured in millimetres increases with gestational age in second and third trimester.

Conclusions: The correlation between the placental thickness and gestational age was linear and direct. Therefore, Placental thickness is used as a predictor for estimation of gestational age of the fetus in cases where LMP is not known and in detecting developing IUGR and low birth weight.


IUGR, Gestational age, Placental thickness, Ultrasonography

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