Birth weight to placenta weight ratio and its relationship to ultrasonic measurements, maternal and neonatal morbidity: A prospective cohort study of nulliparous women.

09 Mar 2018

INTRODUCTION: Birth weight to placenta weight (BWPW)-ratio is an indicator of the ability of the placenta to maintain adequate nutrient supply to the fetus. We sought to investigate the relationship between BWPW-ratio with fetal growth, utero-placental Doppler and neonatal and maternal morbidity. METHODS: We studied a group of 3311 women recruited to a prospective cohort study of nulliparous women (Rosie Hospital, Cambridge, UK) who delivered a live born infant at term and whose placental weight and birth weight were known. Ultrasonic indices and BWPW ratio were converted to gestational age adjusted z scores. Analysis of continuous variables was by multivariable linear regression. BWPW ratio was also categorized (lowest or highest quintile, both referent to quintiles 2 to 4) and associations with adverse outcomes analyzed using multivariable logistic regression. RESULTS: Lowest quintile of BWPW-ratio was associated (adjusted odds ratio [95% CI], P) with both neonatal morbidity (1.55 [1.12-2.14], 0.007) and maternal diabetes (1.75 [1.18-2.59], 0.005). Highest quintile of BWPW ratio was associated with a reduced risk of maternal obesity (0.71 [0.53 to 0.95], 0.02) and preeclampsia (0.51 [0.31 to 0.84], 0.008), but higher (adjusted z score [95% CI], P) uterine artery Doppler mean pulsatility index (PI) at 20 weeks of gestation (0.09 [0.01-0.18], 0.04) and umbilical artery Doppler PI at 36 weeks of gestation (0.16 [0.07-0.25], <0.001). CONCLUSION: BWPW-ratio is related to ultrasonic measurements and both neonatal and maternal morbidity. Therefore, this ratio may be an indicative marker of immediate and longer term health risks for an individual.