Do Macromorphological Features of the Human Placenta Influence Somatic and Psychomotor Development of the Newborn and Early Infant? A Historic Question RevisitedWesthof G.a · Deerberg J.C.a · Schad W.b · Zimmermann R.C.c · Hatzmann H.a
aDepartment of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Witten/Herdecke School of Medicine, Marien-Hospital Witten, and bKarl-Schweisfurth-Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Morpholopgy, University of Witten/Herdecke, Witten, Germany; cColumbia University, Division of Reproductive Endocrinology, New York, N.Y., USA
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Article / Publication Details
Objective: We examined the meaning of placental weight, form (massive and thick or extended and flat) and circumference for early somatic and psychomotor childhood development. Methods:In this prospective study, fresh placentas (n = 265) were measured for weight and circumference and correlated with neonatal data. A subset of placentas statistically defined as ‘massive’ (circumference <10th percentile) and ‘extended’ (circumference >90th percentile) was correlated with somatic and basic psychomotor variables during the first 4 years of life. A ‘medium’ category (circumference 45–55th percentile) served as control. Results: Placental weight correlated with birth weight (r = 0.53, p < 0.0005) and mean infantile weight until month 48 (r = 0.29, p = 0.016). Placental circumference weakly correlated with birth weight (r = 0.17, p = 0.011) but not with mean infantile weight. Placental extremes (massive, medium, extended) demonstrated significant influences only on very early somatic growth (day 1 to month 4): Massive placentas were associated with heavier and taller children (p = 0.02–0.033). Markers of early psychomotor development (first sitting, crawling, running, one- and two-word sentences) were not related with placental weight or circumference nor with extremes of placental morphology. Conclusion: Placental weight and circumference seem to influence very early somatic but not psychomotor development.
© 2010 S. Karger AG, Basel
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