ultrasoundIn the April 2013 edition of Placenta, researchers from King’s College Hospital in London report a connection between placental T2 relaxation times in the second trimester and risk of giving birth to a small for gestational age (SGA) infant.

Researchers evaluated placental T2 relaxation time and uterine artery pulsatility indexes in 40 singleton pregnancies. All pregnancies were between 24 weeks and 29 weeks gestation. After all measurements were taken and infants born, researchers compared placental T2 relaxation times, blood flow and infant weight at birth.

Twenty-five mothers gave birth to SGA infants. Researchers found reduced placental T2 relaxation times in the majority of cases. Blood flow restriction could play an important factor in weight and fetal development and may be associated with the shorter T2 relaxation time.

Source: Derwig I, Barker GJ, Poon L, Zelaya F, Gowland P, Lythgoe DJ, Nicolaides K. Association of placental T2 relaxation times and uterine artery Doppler ultrasound measures of placental blood flow. Placenta. 2013 Apr 10. pii: S0143-4004(13)00138-0. doi: 10.1016/j.placenta.2013.03.005.