Objective: We assessed whether umbilical cord blood placental growth factor (PlGF) levels at delivery are associated with fetal growth. Methods: From a prospective population-based cohort study we included 3,461 live singleton births. Fetal growth was assessed by birth weight, fetal growth pattern, and fetal growth restriction (FGR; decrease in growth between the second trimester and birth of ≥40 percentiles). In all analyses the highest PlGF multiple of the median (MoM) quintile was used as the reference category. Results: Umbilical cord PlGF was neither correlated with maternal second-trimester PlGF (p = 0.08) nor placental weight (p = 0.18), suggesting that PlGF from umbilical cord blood was of fetal origin. Lower PlGF MoM quintiles were associated with a lower birth weight (lowest quintile -0.60 standard deviation [95% confidence interval -0.71 to -0.48, p for trend <0.001]) and a different fetal growth pattern (p < 0.001). Finally, lower PlGF MoM quintiles were associated with FGR (lowest quintile odds ratio 2.00 [95% confidence interval 1.25 to 3.21, p for trend <0.001]). Conclusion: Lower umbilical cord PlGF levels are associated with lower birth weight, deviating fetal growth patterns, and a higher odds of FGR. Hence, cord blood PlGF might be a promising biomarker to determine deviations in fetal growth and FGR retrospectively, enabling follow-up of these neonates.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Birth weight, Fetal growth, Fetal growth pattern, Fetal growth restriction, Placental growth factor
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1159/000475547, hdl.handle.net/1765/102098
Journal Fetal Diagnosis and Therapy
Broere-Brown, Z.A, Schalekamp-Timmermans, S, Jaddoe, V.W.V, & Steegers, E.A.P. (2017). Fetal Growth and Placental Growth Factor Umbilical Cord Blood Levels. Fetal Diagnosis and Therapy, 2017, 1–8. doi:10.1159/000475547