From Molecules to Imaging: Assessment of Placental Hypoxia Biomarkers in Placental Insufficiency Syndromes

Fatimah M Al Darwish, Lotte Meijerink, Bram F Coolen, Gustav J Strijkers, Mireille Bekker, Titia Lely, Fieke Terstappen

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Placental hypoxia poses significant risks to both the developing fetus and the mother during pregnancy, underscoring the importance of early detection and monitoring. Effectively identifying placental hypoxia and evaluating the deterioration in placental function requires reliable biomarkers. Molecular biomarkers in placental tissue can only be determined post-delivery and while maternal blood biomarkers can be measured over time, they can merely serve as proxies for placental function. Therefore, there is an increasing demand for non-invasive imaging techniques capable of directly assessing the placental condition over time. Recent advancements in imaging technologies, including photoacoustic and magnetic resonance imaging, offer promising tools for detecting and monitoring placental hypoxia. Integrating molecular and imaging biomarkers may revolutionize the detection and monitoring of placental hypoxia, improving pregnancy outcomes and reducing long-term health complications. This review describes current research on molecular and imaging biomarkers of placental hypoxia both in human and animal studies and aims to explore the benefits of an integrated approach throughout gestation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2080
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 17 Aug 2023


  • molecular biomarkers
  • non-invasive imaging
  • placental hypoxia


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