Perinatal Outcomes in Premature Placental Calcification and the Association of a Color Doppler Study: Report from a Tertiary Care Hospital in Eastern India

Clin Pract. 2021 Nov 9;11(4):841-849. doi: 10.3390/clinpract11040099.


Introduction: Placental calcification, identified before the 36th week of gestational age, is known as premature placental calcification (PPC). PPC could be a clue for the poor fetal outcome. However, its association with adverse perinatal outcomes is yet to be confirmed. Objective: The primary objective was to determine and compare the perinatal outcomes in pregnancies with and without documented premature placental calcification. Methodology: The present study was a prospective cohort study performed from October 2017 to September 2019. We consecutively enrolled 494 antenatal women who presented to our antenatal OPD after taking consent to participate in our study. Transabdominal sonographies were conducted between 28-36 weeks of gestation to document placental maturity. We compared maternal and fetal outcomes between those who were identified with grade III placental calcification (n = 140) and those without grade III placental calcification (n = 354). Results: The incidence of preeclampsia, at least one abnormal Doppler index, obstetrics cholestasis, placental abruption, and FGR (fetal growth restriction) pregnancies were significantly higher in the group premature placental calcification. We also found a significantly increased incidence of Low APGAR (Appearance, Pulse, Grimace, Activity, and Respiration) scores, NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) Admission, Abnormal CTG (cardiotocography), meconium-stained liquor, and low birth weight babies in those with grade III placental calcification. Conclusion: Clinicians should be aware of documenting placental grading while performing ultrasonography during 28 to 36 weeks. Ultrasonographically, the absence of PPC can define a subcategory of low-risk pregnant populations which probably need no referral to specialized centers and can be managed in these settings.

Keywords: Doppler ultrasonography; perinatal outcome; premature placental calcification.