Shortened fetal long bones: A possible in utero manifestation of placental function

Yaron Zalel, Ofer Lehavi, Eyal Schiff, Bruria Shalmon, Shlomi Cohen, Adrian Schulman, Reuven Achiron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Shortened fetal long bones (SFLB) are usually indicative of a skeletal dysplasia. Our aim in this observational retrospective study was to describe a new association between SFLB, small for gestational age (SGA) fetuses and placental abnormalities, and to suggest an aetiologic explanation. During the last decade we have evaluated nine cases in which SFLB (more than 2SD below the mean) was associated with SGA, abnormal maternal serum placental hormones and abnormal placental sonography. Six cases had significantly increased second trimester maternal serum βhCG and four developed toxaemia of pregnancy or had chronic hypertension. On histology, mature placentas with vascular abnormalities, including chorangiosis, large infarcts and slightly increased syncytial knots were noted. The combination of SFLB, SGA fetuses and placental abnormalities (sonographic, as well as histological) suggested a possible common pathway in the aetiology of this association.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)553-557
Number of pages5
JournalPrenatal Diagnosis
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Placental abnormalities
  • SGA
  • Short fetal long bones
  • Ultrasound


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