A study on the Morphology and the
Morphometry of the Human Placenta
and its Clinical Relevance in a population
Dr. Gunapriya Raghunath, Plot No:38, Thirukkural street, Kamakshi
Nagar, Valasaravakkam, Chennai-600087.
Phone: 94440 78709, 80561 51740
Context (Background): The placenta is a dynamic organ which is unique in its development and functions. It is the only organ in the body which is derived from two separate individuals, the mother and the foetus. The placenta is responsible for the respiratory, nutritional, excretory, endocrinal and the immunological functions of the foetus. The anomalies of the placenta are usually associated with placental insufficiency, which could lead to complications in the foetus. Hence, a thorough examination of the placenta in-utero, as well as post-partum, gives valuable information about the state of the foetal well being.
Aims: To study the morphology and the morphometric analysis of the placenta and to clinically correlate it with the foetal parameters, in order to help in the assessment of the state of the well being of the foetus.
Methods and material: A total of 101 placentae were freshly collected (76 from uncomplicated deliveries and 25 from various factors which complicated the pregnancy). The placental parameters and their respective maternal and foetal details were collected, analysed and clinically correlated.
Results: Out of 101 placentae which were collected (91 full term babies and 10 preterm babies), 94 were circular in shape and 7 were oval in shape. In this study, the average diameter of the placenta was 17.4cm, the average thickness 2.1cm and the average weight of the placenta was 528.55gm.This study showed a placental coefficient of 0.19. The parameters of the placentae which were collected from babies whose mothers had factorswhich complicated their pregnancy, correlated well with their foetal parameters. A subchorionic placental cyst with clear serous fluid was observed in one case. The amniotic membrane was translucent in 93% of the cases. The placental cotyledons on an average were 18 in number. This study revealed the presence of placental calcification in 20% of the cases, retro-placental clots in three cases and the presence of placenta succenturiata in three cases.
Conclusion: An adequate knowledge of the morphometry of the placenta and its clinical relevance can prove to be valuable in the early assessment of the foetal well being, especially in a community like ours, where antenatal mothers still come unbooked to the labour room, with no prior investigations done.