Accurate estimation of fetal gestational age is important for the appropriate management of pregnancy. Gestational age is usually calculated from the last menstrual period or fetal biometrics like crown-rump length and femur length. Both these methods are relatively inaccurate. Placental thickness has long been looked at as a maternofetal parameter for estimating gestational age primarily because it does not rely on either menstrual history or fetal measurements affected by anomalies or inconsistent measurements as the gestational advances. The purpose of this study was to review the role of placental thickness in estimating fetal gestational age. It was found that placental thickness increased linearly with the increase in gestational age and thus is a function of gestational age. Most of the studies agreed that this relationship can be exploited to predict gestational age when it is unknown. Along with other already established parameters, the placental thickness may help to give a more accurate estimate of gestational age and consequently help to identify premature babies that require specialized care. This would go a long way in reducing perinatal mortality rates due to prematurity and better fetal outcomes.
Key Message: Placental thickness correlates well with fetal gestational age and can be used as a potential new parameter for estimating fetal gestational age to guide appropriate pregnancy management. This will result in better fetal outcomes with decreased mortality statistics.
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