The breadth of the placental surface but not the length is associated with body size at birth

S. H. Alwasel, Z. Abotalib, J. S. Aljarallah, C. Osmond, S. Y. Al Omar, A. Harrath, Kent Thornburg, D. J P Barker

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    31 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Studies of pregnancies complicated by preeclampsia led to the suggestion that the surface of the placenta is aligned along two axes, measured by its breadth and length. It was hypothesised that tissue along the breadth serves as a nutrient sensor, responding to the mother's nutritional state and fetal nutritional demands, while tissue along the length has different functions. To develop this hypothesis we measured the breadth and length of the placental surface in 401 neonates born in the King Khalid Hospital, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and related these measurements to the baby's body size. The breadth and length of the placental surface were highly correlated (coefficient = 0.7). Nevertheless, in a simultaneous regression with both measurements, only the breadth was associated with neonatal body size. There were strong trends of increasing birth weight, ponderal index, and the circumferences of the head, chest, abdomen and thigh with increasing placental breadth. In contrast no measurement of baby's body size was related to placental length. Birth weight increased by 125 g per cm increase in placental breadth (95% confidence interval 88 to 162, p <0.001) but only by 20 g per cm increase in placental length (-13 to 53, p = 0.2). The corresponding figures for head circumference were 0.28 cm (0.17-0.39, p <0.001) and 0.03 (-0.07 to 0.14, p = 0.5). The associations between placental breadth and neonatal body size were strongest if the mother's height was below the median (157 cm). The associations between a larger breadth of the placental surface and a larger baby are consistent with the hypothesis that tissue along the breadth plays a key role in nutrient transfer from mother to baby. Mothers who are short in stature are known to have lower rates of protein turnover in pregnancy. In these circumstances the ability of the placenta to transfer amino acids to the fetus may be critical.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)619-622
    Number of pages4
    JournalPlacenta
    Volume33
    Issue number8
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Aug 2012

    Fingerprint

    Body Size
    Parturition
    Birth Weight
    Placenta
    Head
    Food
    Pregnancy
    Saudi Arabia
    Thigh
    Pre-Eclampsia
    Abdomen
    Fetus
    Thorax
    Confidence Intervals
    Amino Acids
    Weights and Measures
    Proteins

    Keywords

    • Birth size
    • Fetal programing
    • Placental surface
    • Polarisation

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Obstetrics and Gynecology
    • Reproductive Medicine
    • Developmental Biology

    Cite this

    Alwasel, S. H., Abotalib, Z., Aljarallah, J. S., Osmond, C., Al Omar, S. Y., Harrath, A., ... Barker, D. J. P. (2012). The breadth of the placental surface but not the length is associated with body size at birth. Placenta, 33(8), 619-622. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.placenta.2012.04.015

    The breadth of the placental surface but not the length is associated with body size at birth. / Alwasel, S. H.; Abotalib, Z.; Aljarallah, J. S.; Osmond, C.; Al Omar, S. Y.; Harrath, A.; Thornburg, Kent; Barker, D. J P.

    In: Placenta, Vol. 33, No. 8, 08.2012, p. 619-622.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Alwasel, SH, Abotalib, Z, Aljarallah, JS, Osmond, C, Al Omar, SY, Harrath, A, Thornburg, K & Barker, DJP 2012, 'The breadth of the placental surface but not the length is associated with body size at birth', Placenta, vol. 33, no. 8, pp. 619-622. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.placenta.2012.04.015
    Alwasel SH, Abotalib Z, Aljarallah JS, Osmond C, Al Omar SY, Harrath A et al. The breadth of the placental surface but not the length is associated with body size at birth. Placenta. 2012 Aug;33(8):619-622. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.placenta.2012.04.015
    Alwasel, S. H. ; Abotalib, Z. ; Aljarallah, J. S. ; Osmond, C. ; Al Omar, S. Y. ; Harrath, A. ; Thornburg, Kent ; Barker, D. J P. / The breadth of the placental surface but not the length is associated with body size at birth. In: Placenta. 2012 ; Vol. 33, No. 8. pp. 619-622.
    @article{798c3c1037c54535a3f67cc20bd80b9b,
    title = "The breadth of the placental surface but not the length is associated with body size at birth",
    abstract = "Studies of pregnancies complicated by preeclampsia led to the suggestion that the surface of the placenta is aligned along two axes, measured by its breadth and length. It was hypothesised that tissue along the breadth serves as a nutrient sensor, responding to the mother's nutritional state and fetal nutritional demands, while tissue along the length has different functions. To develop this hypothesis we measured the breadth and length of the placental surface in 401 neonates born in the King Khalid Hospital, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and related these measurements to the baby's body size. The breadth and length of the placental surface were highly correlated (coefficient = 0.7). Nevertheless, in a simultaneous regression with both measurements, only the breadth was associated with neonatal body size. There were strong trends of increasing birth weight, ponderal index, and the circumferences of the head, chest, abdomen and thigh with increasing placental breadth. In contrast no measurement of baby's body size was related to placental length. Birth weight increased by 125 g per cm increase in placental breadth (95{\%} confidence interval 88 to 162, p <0.001) but only by 20 g per cm increase in placental length (-13 to 53, p = 0.2). The corresponding figures for head circumference were 0.28 cm (0.17-0.39, p <0.001) and 0.03 (-0.07 to 0.14, p = 0.5). The associations between placental breadth and neonatal body size were strongest if the mother's height was below the median (157 cm). The associations between a larger breadth of the placental surface and a larger baby are consistent with the hypothesis that tissue along the breadth plays a key role in nutrient transfer from mother to baby. Mothers who are short in stature are known to have lower rates of protein turnover in pregnancy. In these circumstances the ability of the placenta to transfer amino acids to the fetus may be critical.",
    keywords = "Birth size, Fetal programing, Placental surface, Polarisation",
    author = "Alwasel, {S. H.} and Z. Abotalib and Aljarallah, {J. S.} and C. Osmond and {Al Omar}, {S. Y.} and A. Harrath and Kent Thornburg and Barker, {D. J P}",
    year = "2012",
    month = "8",
    doi = "10.1016/j.placenta.2012.04.015",
    language = "English (US)",
    volume = "33",
    pages = "619--622",
    journal = "Placenta",
    issn = "0143-4004",
    publisher = "W.B. Saunders Ltd",
    number = "8",

    }

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - The breadth of the placental surface but not the length is associated with body size at birth

    AU - Alwasel, S. H.

    AU - Abotalib, Z.

    AU - Aljarallah, J. S.

    AU - Osmond, C.

    AU - Al Omar, S. Y.

    AU - Harrath, A.

    AU - Thornburg, Kent

    AU - Barker, D. J P

    PY - 2012/8

    Y1 - 2012/8

    N2 - Studies of pregnancies complicated by preeclampsia led to the suggestion that the surface of the placenta is aligned along two axes, measured by its breadth and length. It was hypothesised that tissue along the breadth serves as a nutrient sensor, responding to the mother's nutritional state and fetal nutritional demands, while tissue along the length has different functions. To develop this hypothesis we measured the breadth and length of the placental surface in 401 neonates born in the King Khalid Hospital, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and related these measurements to the baby's body size. The breadth and length of the placental surface were highly correlated (coefficient = 0.7). Nevertheless, in a simultaneous regression with both measurements, only the breadth was associated with neonatal body size. There were strong trends of increasing birth weight, ponderal index, and the circumferences of the head, chest, abdomen and thigh with increasing placental breadth. In contrast no measurement of baby's body size was related to placental length. Birth weight increased by 125 g per cm increase in placental breadth (95% confidence interval 88 to 162, p <0.001) but only by 20 g per cm increase in placental length (-13 to 53, p = 0.2). The corresponding figures for head circumference were 0.28 cm (0.17-0.39, p <0.001) and 0.03 (-0.07 to 0.14, p = 0.5). The associations between placental breadth and neonatal body size were strongest if the mother's height was below the median (157 cm). The associations between a larger breadth of the placental surface and a larger baby are consistent with the hypothesis that tissue along the breadth plays a key role in nutrient transfer from mother to baby. Mothers who are short in stature are known to have lower rates of protein turnover in pregnancy. In these circumstances the ability of the placenta to transfer amino acids to the fetus may be critical.

    AB - Studies of pregnancies complicated by preeclampsia led to the suggestion that the surface of the placenta is aligned along two axes, measured by its breadth and length. It was hypothesised that tissue along the breadth serves as a nutrient sensor, responding to the mother's nutritional state and fetal nutritional demands, while tissue along the length has different functions. To develop this hypothesis we measured the breadth and length of the placental surface in 401 neonates born in the King Khalid Hospital, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and related these measurements to the baby's body size. The breadth and length of the placental surface were highly correlated (coefficient = 0.7). Nevertheless, in a simultaneous regression with both measurements, only the breadth was associated with neonatal body size. There were strong trends of increasing birth weight, ponderal index, and the circumferences of the head, chest, abdomen and thigh with increasing placental breadth. In contrast no measurement of baby's body size was related to placental length. Birth weight increased by 125 g per cm increase in placental breadth (95% confidence interval 88 to 162, p <0.001) but only by 20 g per cm increase in placental length (-13 to 53, p = 0.2). The corresponding figures for head circumference were 0.28 cm (0.17-0.39, p <0.001) and 0.03 (-0.07 to 0.14, p = 0.5). The associations between placental breadth and neonatal body size were strongest if the mother's height was below the median (157 cm). The associations between a larger breadth of the placental surface and a larger baby are consistent with the hypothesis that tissue along the breadth plays a key role in nutrient transfer from mother to baby. Mothers who are short in stature are known to have lower rates of protein turnover in pregnancy. In these circumstances the ability of the placenta to transfer amino acids to the fetus may be critical.

    KW - Birth size

    KW - Fetal programing

    KW - Placental surface

    KW - Polarisation

    UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84863006245&partnerID=8YFLogxK

    UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84863006245&partnerID=8YFLogxK

    U2 - 10.1016/j.placenta.2012.04.015

    DO - 10.1016/j.placenta.2012.04.015

    M3 - Article

    C2 - 22652045

    AN - SCOPUS:84863006245

    VL - 33

    SP - 619

    EP - 622

    JO - Placenta

    JF - Placenta

    SN - 0143-4004

    IS - 8

    ER -