Placenta/birthweight ratio and perinatal outcome: A retrospective cohort analysis

F. Shehata*, I. Levin, A. Shrim, B. Ata, B. Weisz, R. Gamzu, B. Almog

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective The placenta weight/birthweight (PW/BW) ratio has been shown to be associated with certain long-term fetal outcomes; however, its association with short-term outcomes has not received much attention. Our aim was to assess the correlation between the PW/BW ratio and short-term adverse obstetrics outcomes in full-term, appropriate-for-gestational-age (AGA) newborns. Design Retrospective cohort study analysis using data from the McGill Obstetrical and Neonatal Database. Setting McGill University Health Centre in Montreal Canada. Population AGA neonates. Methods Three groups of full-term AGA neonates were created, according to their PW/BW ratio (high, normal and low), to be compared. Our primary outcome was the admission rate to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), and secondary outcomes included an Apgar score < 7 at 5 minutes, cord PH < 7.0, cord base excess (BE) ≤ 12, respiratory distress syndrome (RDS), patent ductus arteriosus (PDA), occurrence of apnoea episodes, breech presentation at delivery, caesarean section rate and status in discharge home. A logistic regression model was instituted to investigate the predictors for adverse obstetrics outcomes. Main outcome measure Admission to the NICU. Results Compared with the group with normal PW/BW ratios, the high PW/BW ratio group was associated with increased rates of admission to the NICU, of Apgar scores < 7 at 5 minutes, of breech presentation and caesarean section. On the contrary, the low PW/BW ratio group showed decreased rates of NICU admission, breech presentation and caesarean section. Conclusions A high PW/BW ratio is significantly correlated with short-term adverse perinatal outcomes. This ratio may be used as a new and simple warning sign to predict the possibility of short-term health risks for newborns.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)741-747
Number of pages7
JournalBJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Issue number6
StatePublished - May 2011


  • Birthweight
  • NICU admission
  • perinatal
  • placenta weight


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