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Prototypes may diagnose common pregnancy complications by monitoring placental oxygen-ScienceDaily

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Researchers at the National Institutes of Health have developed a prototype device that has the potential to diagnose pregnancy complications by monitoring placental oxygen levels. This device sends near-infrared light through the abdomen of a pregnant person to measure oxygen levels in the arterial and venous networks of the placenta. This method was used to study the placenta previa attached to the anterior wall of the uterus. Researchers said their results were promising, but added that further research was needed before using the device on a daily basis.

This small study was conducted by Dr. Amir Gandjbakhche and his colleagues in the Translational Biophotonics Division of the Eunice Kennedy Schreiber National Institutes of Health and Human Development (NICHD) at NIH.It will be displayed in Biomedical Optical Express..

Researchers have devised a mathematical method for studying the passage of light through the skin, abdominal wall, and uterine tissue to reach the placenta and calculate its oxygen levels. Currently, it is not possible to monitor oxygen in women with a posterior placenta attached to the posterior wall of the uterus. This is because the distance is too far for light to travel. However, placenta previa is associated with a higher complication rate than posterior placenta, such as postpartum bleeding and increased need for labor induction or caesarean section.

The researchers enrolled 12 pregnant women with placenta previa in the study. Five of these had pregnancy complications, including high blood pressure, a short cervix and polyhydramnios (excessive amniotic fluid). On average, placental oxygen levels in women with complications were 69.6%, a statistically significant difference from the 75.3% seen in healthy pregnancies in this study. The authors see their results as the first step in continuously monitoring placental oxygen levels to assess maternal and fetal health.

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material Provided by NIH / Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Health.. Note: The content can be edited in style and length.

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