The human placental perfusion model: a systematic review and development of a model to predict in vivo transfer of therapeutic drugs

Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2011 Jul;90(1):67-76. doi: 10.1038/clpt.2011.66. Epub 2011 May 11.


Dual perfusion of a single placental lobule is the only experimental model to study human placental transfer of substances in organized placental tissue. To date, there has not been any attempt at a systematic evaluation of this model. The aim of this study was to systematically evaluate the perfusion model in predicting placental drug transfer and to develop a pharmacokinetic model to account for nonplacental pharmacokinetic parameters in the perfusion results. In general, the fetal-to-maternal drug concentration ratios matched well between placental perfusion experiments and in vivo samples taken at the time of delivery of the infant. After modeling for differences in maternal and fetal/neonatal protein binding and blood pH, the perfusion results were able to accurately predict in vivo transfer at steady state (R² = 0.85, P < 0.0001). Placental perfusion experiments can be used to predict placental drug transfer when adjusting for extra parameters and can be useful for assessing drug therapy risks and benefits in pregnancy.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical
  • Female
  • Fetal Blood / chemistry
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Maternal-Fetal Exchange / physiology*
  • Models, Biological
  • Models, Statistical
  • Perfusion
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations / metabolism*
  • Placenta / blood supply*
  • Pregnancy
  • Regional Blood Flow / physiology


  • Pharmaceutical Preparations