Exploring in vivo placental microstructure in healthy and growth-restricted pregnancies through diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging

Nickie Andescavage, Wonsang You, Marni Jacobs, Kushal Kapse, Jessica Quistorff, Dorothy Bulas, Homa Ahmadzia, Alexis Gimovsky, Ahmet Baschat, Catherine Limperopoulos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: Gross and microstructural changes in placental development can influence placental function and adversely impact fetal growth and well-being; however, there is a paucity of invivo tools available to reliably interrogate in vivo placental microstructural development. The objective of this study is to characterize invivo placental microstructural diffusion and perfusion in healthy and growth-restricted pregnancies (FGR) using non-invasive diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI). Methods: We prospectively enrolled healthy pregnant women and women whose pregnancies were complicated by FGR. Each woman underwent DWI-MRI between 18 and 40 weeks gestation. Placental measures of small (D) and large (D*) scale diffusion and perfusion (f) were estimated using the intra-voxel incoherent motion (IVIM) model. Results: We studied 137 pregnant women (101 healthy; 36 FGR). D and D* are increased in late-onset FGR, and the placental perfusion fraction, f, is decreased (p < 0.05 for all). Discussion: Placental DWI revealed microstructural alterations of the invivo placenta in FGR, particularly in late-onset FGR. Early and reliable identification of placental pathology in vivo may better guide future interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)113-118
Number of pages6
JournalPlacenta
Volume93
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2020

Keywords

  • Diffusion weighted imaging (DWI)
  • Fetal growth restriction (FGR)
  • Intra-voxel incoherent motion analysis (IVIM)
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Placenta

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Developmental Biology

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