Quantitative Evaluation of Umbilical Cord and Placental Indices and Pregnancy Outcome

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Normal morphology of the placenta and umbilical cord is essential for foetal survival and postnatal outcome, therefore this study was designed to evaluate placental and umbilical cord indices and pregnancy outcome. A total of 207 placentae with attached umbilical cords were obtained from Victory Maternity Home and Clinic between November, 2009 and October, 2010 for this study. The results showed a significant difference (P = 0.018) in the umbilical cord vein diameter between neonates of normotensive (3.36 ± 0.88 mm) and hypertensive mothers (3.82 ± 0.50 mm). Body and umbilical cord lengths of the term males and females showed significant differences (P < 0.05). The umbilical cord length and placental weight had both individual and combined effects on birth weight and body length (β = 0.071 – 9.351, P < 0.05). Wharton’s jelly measurements linearly related with birth weight (β = 9.165, P = 0.013), body length (β = 1.071, P = 0.005), and abdominal circumference (β = 1.602, P = 0.001). It is possible that an increase in Wharton’s jelly volume improves its protective capacity and this impact favourably on foetal nutrition by enhancing foetoplacental circulation.
A thesis submitted to the School of Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the award of Master of Philosophy, February-2012