Maternal perception of reduced fetal movements is associated with altered placental structure and function

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • External authors:
  • Lynne K. Warrander
  • Gauri Batra
  • Giovanna Bernatavicius
  • Philip Dutton


Background: Maternal perception of reduced fetal movement (RFM) is associated with increased risk of stillbirth and fetal growth restriction (FGR). DFM is thought to represent fetal compensation to conserve energy due to insufficient oxygen and nutrient transfer resulting from placental insufficiency. To date there have been no studies of placental structure in cases of DFM. Objective: To determine whether maternal perception of reduced fetal movements (RFM) is associated with abnormalities in placental structure and function. Design: Placentas were collected from women with RFM after 28 weeks gestation if delivery occurred within 1 week. Women with normal movements served as a control group. Placentas were weighed and photographs taken. Microscopic structure was evaluated by immunohistochemical staining and image analysis. System A amino acid transporter activity was measured as a marker of placental function. Placentas from all pregnancies with RFM (irrespective of outcome) had greater area with signs of infarction (3.5% vs. 0.6%; p

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere34851
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 16 Apr 2012