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.
- Placental abnormalities
- Short fetal long bones