Purpose of review
This article describes the role of placental examination in the prognostic evaluation of fetal growth restriction (FGR) infants.
A new comprehensive placental classification system was reported. Maternal underperfusion, fetal thrombotic vasculopathy (FTV), villitis (including villitis of unknown etiology and infectious villitis), inflammation, and immature/dysmature villi are important factors affecting FGR prognosis, whereas genomic imprinting is a key factor affecting growth and diseases, as well as placental abnormality.
We discuss the role of placental examination in determining FGR prognosis. Maternal underperfusion, fetal thrombotic vasculopathy, and villitis (including villitis of unknown etiology and infectious villitis) are the most important findings affecting FGR prognosis. Although limited, data have suggested an association of inflammation and immature/dysmature villi with postnatal growth in FGR infants. Placental size also contributes postnatally through fetal programming. In addition, placental imprinting can be a key of pre and postnatal growth and diseases, including imprinting disorders, as well as placental abnormalities such as placental mesenchymal dysplasia.