Morphological and ultrasound findings in the placenta of diabetic pregnancy

Vol. 59 No. 1, 2018


Costin Berceanu, Adrian Victor Tetileanu, Anca-Maria Ofiteru, Elvira Bratila, Claudia Mehedintu, Nicoleta Loredana Voicu, Florin Adrian Szasz, Sabina Berceanu, Simona Vladareanu, Dan-Bogdan Navolan

The purpose of this study is to analyze the morphological, histological, immunohistochemical and ultrasound findings in the placenta of maternal type 1 and gestational diabetes, to compare the pathological changes of the placental structure in the two types of metabolic disruptions, but also to establish correlations with the expression of these findings, influenced by different associated conditions. This multicenter study includes 53 pregnancies, of which 37 with pregestational and 16 with gestational diabetes. All cases undergone specific obstetric ultrasound assessment and detailed placental scan. There were assessed 49 singleton and four twin pregnancies, all of which having live births as fetal outcome. Maternal preexisting hypertension, preeclampsia and obesity were the main associated conditions. Placental ultrasound scan revealed increased placental thickness even from the second trimester, with significant increases in the first half, and placentomegaly at the end of the third trimester. Macroscopic analysis of the placentas and umbilical cords has shown that the placentas of women with diabetes are heavier, and abnormal cord insertion has been also found. Gross analysis of maternal and fetal surfaces of the placentas revealed certain changes in both metabolic conditions. We observed 14 types of placental pathological findings in pregestational and 11 in gestational diabetes. In diabetic placenta, it is not appropriate to discuss about specific changes, but rather about a pathological diabetic pattern, influenced by associated conditions. Preconceptional and first trimester glycemic control is the key element, and euglycemia throughout pregnancy is a purpose whose accomplishment depends the maternal-fetal outcome.

Corresponding author: Claudia Mehedintu, Associate Professor, MD, PhD; e-mail:

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