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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 59-65

Effect of placental malaria on placental and neonatal birthweight of primigravidae in Southeastern Nigeria

1 Department of Pathology, Ebonyi State University/Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki, Ebonyi, Nigeria
2 Department of Medical Microbiology and Parasitology/Director, Directorate of Research, Innovation and Commercialization, Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki, Ebonyi, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Festus Ehigiator Iyare
Department of Pathology, Ebonyi State University/Federal Teaching Hospital, PMB 102, Abakaliki 480001, Ebonyi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/njecp.njecp_19_18

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Background: Adolescent primigravidae have increased risk of pregnancy associated complications and this is compounded by placental malaria in endemic areas. Placental weight is an acceptable marker of placental functional capacity and it correlates closely with birth weight which is recognized as an indicator of intrauterine growth. Methods: The study was done on primigravidae with uncomplicated singleton term pregnancy who fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Malaria parasites were tested for by microscopy of Giemsa stained thick and thin blood films on the matched pairs of mother and placental blood samples. Results: The total number of participants was 106 with mean age of 26 ± 0.553 years. Heavy weight placenta defined as placenta weight >750 g, accounted for 6.6% of which 42.8% had malaria. The mean placental weight, birth weight, and placenta weight ratio were 580.5 g, 2.87 kg and 0.207 respectively. Placental malaria accounted for 25% of the low birth weight. Conclusion: The maternal age at first pregnancy and delivery has significant impact on the placental weight ratio even more so among the adolescent primigravidae. Malaria induces placental hypertrophy with high placental ratio and reduced availability of nutrients to the growing foetus.

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