A disorder affecting the placenta may interfere with its function, which in turn may affect the fetus. The fetus may experience reduction in both oxygen and nutrient delivery, which eventually will affect growth.


Factors affecting impact:

(1) severity

(2) duration


Features of placental insufficiency:

(1) abnormal or non-reassuring fetal monitoring tests

(2) abnormal Doppler flow velocimetry waveform analysis

(3) oligohydramnios

(4) birth weight < 10 th percentile for the gestational age (use estimated weight if still in utero)



• Meconium staining may occur if fetal hypoxemia is severe enough.

• Doppler flow velocimetry includes analysis of the end-diastolic flow in the umbilical artery.


If one or more of these findings are seen, then the placenta should be sent for pathologic analysis. These findings are suggestive but nondiagnostic by themselves.


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