Quantitative Analysis of Placental Vasculature by Three-Dimensional Power Doppler Ultrasonography in Normal Pregnancies From 12 to 40 Weeks of Gestation
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Evaluate the distribution and variation of placental vascular indices according to gestational age and placental volume. From March to November 2007, three-dimensional (3D)-power Doppler ultrasound was performed in 295 normal pregnancies from 12 to 40 weeks of gestation. Using the same preestablished settings for all patients, power Doppler was applied to the placenta and placental Volume was obtained by the rotational technique (VOCAL(TM)). The 3D-power histogram was used to determine the placental vascular indices: vascularization index (VI), flow index (FI) and vascularization-flow index (VFI). The placental vascular indices were then plotted against gestational age and placental volume. All placental vascular indices showed constant distribution throughout gestation. A tendency for a reduction in placental vascular indices with increased placental volume was observed, but was only statistically significant when placental FI was considered (p < 0.05). All placental vascular indices estimated by 3D-power Doppler ultrasonography presented constant distribution throughout gestation, despite the increase in placental volume according to gestational age. (C) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.