A combination of simple, non-invasive tests early in pregnancy can detect placental damage that may cause stillbirth or a severely underweight premature infant, says a Canadian study that included 212 women with high-risk pregnancies.
Standard blood tests for Down syndrome and spina bifida, as well as a uterine Doppler flow test to check maternal blood flow in the placenta, and an ultrasound to check the shape of the placenta can help doctors determine if a pregnant woman has a damaged placenta, said the team at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, the Canadian Press reported.
The study appears in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Through the placenta, a developing foetus receives oxygen, nutrients and antibodies from the mother. An improperly formed or ill-functioning placenta can lead to a number of foetal problems.
"This strategy allows us to identify women that we should study to try to prevent placental damage. The first way to prevent it is to diagnoses it," principal investigator Dr John Kingdom, a maternal-foetal medicine specialist, told the CP.
There are a number of methods for treating a damaged placenta. – (HealthDayNews)
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