Placental thickness as a sonographic biomarker for gestational age among singleton pregnancies


  • Gokul Reshmi Mariappan Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Sri Venkateswaraa medical college hospital and Research centre, Ariyur, Pondicherry, India
  • Hiremath B. Panchaksharayya Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Sri Venkateswaraa medical college hospital and Research centre, Ariyur, Pondicherry, India
  • Govardhanan R. Department of Radiology, Sri Venkateswaraa medical college hospital and Research centre, Ariyur, Pondicherry, India



Gestational age, Placental thickness, Sonographic marker


Background: The aim of the study was to exploring the application of placental thickness as a sonographic marker for determining gestational age among singleton pregnant mothers.

Methods: This longitudinal, observational study was conducted in obstetrics and gynecology department and department of Radiology, Sri Venkateshwaraa Medical College and Hospital, Ariyur, Puducherry, in antenatal mothers of 11-40 weeks of gestation from 2018 to 2019. The study included 278 normal singleton pregnant women. The details regarding the socio-demographic variables, relevant clinical history and examination, laboratory investigations and ultrasound report containing gestational age, placental thickness measured at the level of cord insertion were documented in a proforma. The sonographic measurements were made using a grey scale real time ultrasound machine Siemens ACUSON x400 with a convex 2-5 mhz probe.

Results: The study included 278 pregnant women with a mean age of 25.8±44 years. Majority of them were home makers (n=155, 55.7%) and educated (n=257, 92.4%) and primigravida

(n=117, 57.9%).The position of the placenta in majority of the participants was posterior placed (71.6%). The mean gestational age of the studied antenatal women was 28.3±7.2 weeks as per ultrasonogram. Majority of the participants were younger aged between 20 to 30 years of age and very few teenage pregnancies. There was a significant correlation between the gestational age and placental thickness (p<0.001). There was a significant (p<0.001) correlation between placental thickness and femur length (r=0.972).

Conclusions: The placental thickness showed significant positive correlation with the gestational age as measured by ultrasonogram. Hence it can be used as a parameter in determining the gestational age.


Norton ME, Scoutt L, Feldstein VA. Ultrasonography in Obstetrics and Gynaecology. 5th edition. Callen PW, editor. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier. 2002;225-65.

Habib FA. Prediction of low birth weight infants from ultrasound measurement of placental diameter and thickness. Ann Saudi Med. 2002;22(5-6):312-14.

Karthikeyan T, Subramaniam RK, Johnson WMS. Placental Thickness and its correlation to gestational age and Foetal growth parameters. J Clin Diagn Res. 2012;6(10):1732-5.

Filly R, Hoddick WK, Mahony BS, Callen PW, Filly RA, et al. Placental thickness. J Ultrasound Med. 1985;4(9):479-82.

Suresh KK, Ajey R, Bhagwat SK. Ultrasonographic measurement of placental thickness and its correlation with Femur Length. Int J Anatomy Radiol Surg. 2009;6(1):46-51.

Pant S, Dashottar S. A correlative study to evaluate the gestational age by sonological measurement of placental thickness in normal second and third trimester pregnancy. Int J Adv Med. 2017;4:1638-44.

Jain A, Kumar G, Agarwal U, Kharakwal S. Placental thickness a sonographic indicator of gestational age. J Obstet Gynaecol Ind. 2001;51(3):48-9.

Grannum PA, Berkowitz RL, Hobbins JC. The ultrasonic changes in the maturing placenta and their relation to fetal pulmonic maturity. American J Obstetr Gynecol. 1979;133(8):915-22.






Original Research Articles