- Placental pathology correlates with subtypes of preterm deliveries.
Why this matters
- Placental pathology can be used to gain insight into subtypes of preterm birth.
- The occurrence of placental malperfusion and inflammation/infection may be an unrecognized subtype linked to severe adverse neonatal outcomes.
- Women with late, moderate, and early preterm birth were more likely to have placentas <10th percentile in weight compared with term pregnancies (22.2%, 43.6%, 32.9% vs 19.2%; P<.0001).
- Women with late, moderate, and early preterm birth were more likely to have placentas with malperfusion compared with term infants (45.5%, 63.2%, 46.2% vs 32.8%; P<.0001).
- Early preterm birth more likely to have severe intrauterine inflammation/infection (51%).
- Mild inflammation/infection most common in term pregnancies (19.6%).
- Data on singleton live births between 2008 and 2012 were collected retrospectively using the Magee Obstetric and Infant database (n=45,638).
- Preterm births were further classified as late, moderate, and early.
- Placental pathologies were categorized as maternal malperfusion, intrauterine inflammation/infection (mild, severe), or normal.
- Funding: Supported by a grant from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Health.
- Pathology interpretation subject to interobserver variability.
- Data limited to cases that were referred for placental pathology, bias towards prematurity may exist.