Document Detail

Allometric metabolic scaling and fetal and placental weight.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  19264357     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
BACKGROUND: We tested the hypothesis that the fetal-placental relationship scales allometrically and identified modifying factors of that relationship.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Among women delivering after 34 weeks but prior to 43 weeks' gestation, 24,601 participants in the Collaborative Perinatal Project (CPP) had complete data for placental gross proportion measures, specifically, placental weight (PW), disk shape, larger and smaller disk diameters and thickness, and umbilical cord length. The allometric metabolic equation was solved for alpha and beta by rewriting PW = alpha(BW)beta as ln(PW) = ln alpha + beta[ln(BW)]. alpha(iota) was then the dependent variable in regressions with p < 0.05 significant.
RESULTS: Mean beta was 0.78 + 0.02 (range 0.66, 0.89), which is consistent with the scaling exponent 0.75 predicted by Kleiber's Law. Gestational age, maternal age, maternal BMI, parity, smoking, socioeconomic status, infant sex, and changes in placental proportions each had independent and significant effects on alpha.
CONCLUSIONS: We find an allometric scaling relation between the placental weight and the birthweight in the CPP cohort with an exponent approximately equal to 0.75, as predicted by Kleiber's Law. This implies that: (1) placental weight is a justifiable proxy for fetal metabolic rate when other measures of fetal metabolic rate are not available; and (2) the allometric relationship between placental and birthweight is consistent with the hypothesis that the fetal-placental unit functions as a fractal supply limited system. Furthermore, our data suggest that the maternal and fetal variables we examined have at least part of their effects on the normal balance between placental weight and birth weight via effects on gross placental growth dimensions.
C M Salafia; D P Misra; M Yampolsky; A K Charles; R K Miller
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2009-03-04
Journal Detail:
Title:  Placenta     Volume:  30     ISSN:  0143-4004     ISO Abbreviation:  Placenta     Publication Date:  2009 Apr 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2009-03-23     Completed Date:  2009-06-24     Revised Date:  2013-12-26    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8006349     Medline TA:  Placenta     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  355-60     Citation Subset:  IM    
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MeSH Terms
Cohort Studies
Fetal Development / physiology
Fetal Weight / physiology*
Fetus / metabolism*
Infant, Newborn
Models, Biological
Multivariate Analysis
Organ Size / physiology
Placenta / anatomy & histology*,  growth & development,  physiology
Prospective Studies
Regression Analysis
Young Adult
Grant Support
1 K23 MH067857-01/MH/NIMH NIH HHS; K23 MH067857/MH/NIMH NIH HHS; R43 HD062307/HD/NICHD NIH HHS; R43 HD066952/HD/NICHD NIH HHS

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