Fetal Growth Restriction in Hypertensive vs. Heavy Smoking Women—Placental Pathology, Ultrasound Findings, and Pregnancy Outcomes

Daniel Tairy*, Eran Weiner, Michal Kovo, Astar Maloul Zamir, Erika Gandelsman, Michal Levy, Hadas Ganer Herman, Eldar Volpert, Letizia Schreiber, Jacob Bar, Giulia Barda

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


We compared placental pathology, ultrasonographic findings, and obstetric outcomes, in gestations complicated by fetal growth restriction (FGR) with either a background of hypertensive disorder or heavy tobacco cigarette smoking. The medical records and placental pathology reports of pregnancies complicated with FGR (birthweight < 10th percentile) between December 2008 and May 2018 from a single tertiary center were reviewed. Placental pathology, ultrasound findings, and pregnancy outcomes were compared between hypertensive patients (HTN) and heavy smokers (SMO). We included 213 pregnancies: 129 (60.6%) in the SMO group and 84 (39.4%) in the HTN group. The HTN group was characterized by a higher BMI (p = 0.01), higher rates of Cesarean deliveries (p = 0.006), and a lower gestational age at delivery (35.6 ± 3.8 vs. 37.5 ± 2.9 weeks, p < 0.001). The HTN group had higher rates of placental weights < 10th percentile (p = 0.04) and maternal vascular malperfusion lesions (p < 0.001), while the SMO group had higher rates of inflammatory lesions (p = 0.04). On ultrasound, the HTN group had a higher head/abdomen circumference ratio (p < 0.001) and more abnormal Doppler studies (< 0.001). Neonates in the HTN group had lower birthweights (p < 0.001) and higher rates of NICU admissions (p = 0.002) and adverse neonatal outcome (p = 0.006). On multivariable analysis, gestational age at delivery (aOR = 0.65, 95%CI 0.55–0.87), hypertensive disorders (aOR = 1.8, 95%CI = 1.21–4.81), placental MVM lesions (aOR = 1.23, 95%CI = 1.08–5.02), and the combination of HTN+MVM (aOR = 2.63, 95%CI 1.78–7.30) were independently associated with adverse neonatal outcome. Hypertension and smoking may lead to FGR in different pathways as the two groups significantly differed in maternal characteristics, placental pathology, ultrasound findings, and neonatal outcomes. A hypertensive disorder probably represents a more hostile maternal environment than smoking and these pregnancies would probably benefit from closes monitoring.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)819-827
Number of pages9
JournalReproductive Sciences
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2021


  • Cigarette smoking
  • Fetal growth restriction
  • Hypertensive disorder
  • Neonatal outcomes
  • Placental malperfusion
  • Sonographic findings


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