Amer J Perinatol
DOI: 10.1055/s-0037-1615285
Original Article
Thieme Medical Publishers 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

Estimated Placental Volume and Gestational Age

Kimberly M. M. Isakov1, John W. Emerson2, Katherine H. Campbell3, France Galerneau3, Amber M. Anders1, Yoonjoo K. Lee4, Pritha Subramanyam5, Andrea E. Roberts1, Harvey J. Kliman3
  • 1School of Medicine, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut
  • 2Department of Statistics, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut
  • 3Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut
  • 4School of Medicine, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 5Department of Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, New York
Further Information

Publication History

10 April 2017

10 November 2017

Publication Date:
27 December 2017 (eFirst)


Objective The objective of this study was to validate estimated placental volume (EPV) across a range of gestational ages (GAs).

Study Design Three hundred sixty-six patients from 2009 to 2011 received ultrasound scans between 11 + 0 and 38 + 6 weeks GA to assess EPV. An EPV versus GA best fit curve was generated and compared with published normative curves of EPV versus GA in a different population. A subanalysis was performed to explore the relationship between EPV and birth weight (BW).

Results Analysis of EPV versus GA revealed a parabolic curve with the following best fit equation: EPV = (0.372 GA − 0.00364 GA2)3. EPV was weakly correlated with BW, and patients with an EPV in the bottom 50th percentile had 2.42 times the odds of having a newborn with a BW in the bottom 50th percentile (95% confidence interval: 1.27–4.68). Microscopic evaluation of two placentas corresponding to the smallest EPV outliers revealed significant placental pathology.

Conclusion Placental volume increases throughout gestation and follows a predictable parabolic curve, in agreement with the existing literature. Further validation is required, but EPV may have the potential for clinical utility as a screening tool in a variety of settings.


This study was funded by Reproductive and Placental Research Unit, Yale University School of Medicine.