Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Placenta Screening For High-risk Pregnancies

Date:
April 5, 2007
Source:
University of Toronto
Summary:
For the first time ever, a team of Toronto researchers are using a combination of ultrasound and blood tests to screen high-risk pregnant mothers for placental damage.

For the first time ever, a team of Toronto researchers are using a combination of ultrasound and blood tests to screen high-risk pregnant mothers for placental damage. By completing these non-invasive tests, most high-risk mothers can be reassured that their placenta is formed and functioning properly, so they can expect a healthy pregnancy.

The tests are done early enough, at 16 to 23 weeks gestation, so if results are abnormal, physicians have time to improve pregnancy outcomes. "Close to 40 per cent of high-risk mothers we see in our clinic experience placental damage," says Dr. John Kingdom, Principal Investigator of the study and Maternal-Fetal Medicine Specialist at Mount Sinai Hospital. The research is among the first to look at placenta health -- a vital life line between mother and fetus through which nutrients, oxygen, antibodies and hormones pass.

"By identifying early on if there is a potential risk of complications, we can do everything possible to ensure the safety of both the mother and fetus," says Dr. Kingdom, who is also a Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Toronto. "We can reassure those with normal test results that their placentas are functioning well and they can expect a healthy pregnancy and birth."

If the placenta is not functioning properly it could be a potential danger to the health of the mother and fetus. Abnormalities can lead to conditions such as preeclampsia, which is maternal high blood pressure, stillbirth or the need for a pre-term delivery.

The screening tests include: a maternal serum screening test used to detect Down's syndrome, which measures the hormone levels in the mother's blood; a uterine artery Doppler blood flow test, which checks the maternal blood flow in the placenta; and an ultrasound of the placental shape. Of the 212 high-risk women in the study, 19 delivered early due to poor fetal growth. None of these women had normal placental function test results. Likewise, only two of 22 stillbirths occurred in women with normal tests, and these losses were not related to abnormal placental function. This data demonstrates that the placenta screening tests can provide a good indication of which women may experience complications during pregnancy.

"This is an important first step in identifying placental abnormalities in early pregnancy, at a time when a number of interventions can be used to improve outcomes for those with the highest risk" says Dr. Kingdom. "This study will lead the way for future research in placenta screening and help us provide quality care for all mothers."

The research will be published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology in April 2007.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Toronto. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Toronto. "New Placenta Screening For High-risk Pregnancies." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 April 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070402101722.htm>.
University of Toronto. (2007, April 5). New Placenta Screening For High-risk Pregnancies. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070402101722.htm
University of Toronto. "New Placenta Screening For High-risk Pregnancies." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070402101722.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

AP (July 28, 2014) A bipartisan deal to improve veterans health care would authorize at least $15 billion in emergency spending to fix a veterans program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

AFP (July 28, 2014) The worst-ever outbreak of the deadly Ebola epidemic grips west Africa, killing hundreds. Duration: 00:48 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins