Placenta morphology and biomarkers in pregnancies with congenital heart disease - A systematic review: Review on congenital heart disease and placenta morphology

Maartje C Snoep, Moska Aliasi, Lotte E van der Meeren, Monique R M Jongbloed, Marco C DeRuiter, Monique C Haak

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

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Abstract

Impaired placentation is an important contributing factor to intra-uterine growth restriction and pre-eclampsia in fetuses with congenital heart defects (CHD). These pregnancy complications occur more frequently in pregnancies with fetal CHD. One of the most important factors influencing the life of children with CHD is neurodevelopmental delay, which seems to start already in utero. Delayed neurodevelopment in utero may be correlated or even (partly) explained by impaired placentation in CHD cases. This systematic review provides an overview of published literature on placental development in pregnancies with fetal CHD. A systematic search was performed and the Newcastle-Ottawa scale was used to access data quality. Primary outcomes were placenta size and weight, vascular and villous architecture, immunohistochemistry, angiogenic biomarkers and/or placental gene expression. A total of 1161 articles were reviewed and 21 studies were included. Studies including CHD with a genetic disorder or syndrome and/or multiple pregnancies were excluded. Lower placental weight and elevated rates of abnormal umbilical cord insertions were found in CHD. Cases with CHD more frequently showed microscopic placental abnormalities (i.e. abnormal villous maturation and increased maternal vascular malperfusion lesions), reduced levels of angiogenic biomarkers and increased levels of anti-angiogenic biomarkers in maternal serum and umbilical cord blood. Altered gene expression involved in placental development and fetal growth were found in maternal serum and CHD placentas. In conclusion, abnormal placentation is found in CHD. More extensive studies are needed to elucidate the contribution of impaired placentation to delayed neurodevelopment in CHD cases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-196
Number of pages8
JournalPlacenta
Volume112
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2021

Keywords

  • Congenital heart defect
  • Neurodevelopment
  • Parenchymal morphology
  • Placenta
  • Placental growth factor
  • Systematic review

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