Evaluation of Placental Blood Flow in Patients with Placental Insufficiency

Julia E. Dobrokhotova, PhD, ScD¹*; Sophia A. Zalesskaya¹; Elena A. Zubareva, PhD, ScD¹; Andrey R. Zubarev, PhD, ScD¹; Tatiana A. Rumyantseva, PhD¹,²

¹N.I. Pirogov Russian National Research Medical University, ²Central Research Institute of Epidemiology; Moscow, the Russian Federation

*Corresponding author: Professor Julia E. Dobrokhotova, PhD, ScD. Head of Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Medical Faculty, N.I. Pirogov Russian National Research Medical University, Moscow, the Russian Federation. E-mail: pr.dobrohotova@mail.ru

Published: March 17, 2017.  doi: 10.21103/Article7(1)_OA1


Background: Placental insufficiency is a major problem of modern obstetrics due to its link to maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality. Placental microcirculatory disorders play a decisive role in the pathogenesis of this condition. Thus, an evaluation of placental blood flow is of particular importance and crucial for appropriate diagnosis. The aim of this study was to evaluate placental blood flow in patients with placental insufficiency. SMI (superb microvascular imaging) was compared to color Doppler for that purpose.
Materials and Methods: Primigravida patients (n=91) at 15 to 16 weeks of gestation were enrolled. Inclusion criteria were spontaneous singleton pregnancy, age from 18 to 45 years. All participants were divided into 2 groups: Group 1 – control group (n=27) and Group 2 – threatened miscarriage group (n=64). Transvaginal ultrasound and color Doppler were performed to assess uteroplacental circulation. Placental blood flow was evaluated using a Toshiba Aplio™ 500 machine equipped with an SMI tool.
Results: Placental blood flow assessment in patients with normal pregnancy revealed homogenous placental tissue, normal distribution of vessels, and active blood flow; in patients with pregnancy complications, we found inhomogeneous placenta, decreased blood flow, sporadic vessels, and avascular areas. SMI demonstrated several benefits compared to color Doppler imaging. Color Doppler allows us to assess superficial vessels only, whereas SMI provides more comprehensive data on the overall vascularization of the placenta.
Conclusion: SMI by Aplio™ 500 (Toshiba) may be an effective tool in the assessment of placental blood flow and the diagnosis and prognosis of placental insufficiency. 

superb microvascular imaging ● placental circulation ● threatened miscarriage ● placental insufficiency
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International Journal of Biomedicine. 2017;7(1):28-31. © 2017 International Medical Research and Development Corporation. All rights reserved