Placental pathology measures: Can they be rapidly and reliably integrated into large-scale perinatal studies?

J. M. Catov*, Y. Peng, C. M. Scifres, W. T. Parks

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Introduction Normal placental function is critical to optimize fetal growth and development, but few perinatal studies incorporate placental measures. Our objectives were to link clinical placental pathology records to birth records, and validate an automated abstraction strategy. Methods Of the 47,329 deliveries at our hospital from 2008 to 2012, we retrieved electronic copies of pathology reports (n = 21,585, 45.4%). Pathology data were extracted with Extensible Markup Language (XML) script using Java and structured query language (SQL) transformed the text information into variables that were linked to delivery data. A subgroup of records was selected for a validation study that compared automated to manual abstraction (n = 144). Results Linked birth-placental records included 93% of all preterm (<37 weeks, n = 5108) and 37.1% of term births (n = 14,019). Over 90% of deliveries complicated by preeclampsia, chronic hypertension, or gestational diabetes included pathology data. The validation study indicated excellent agreement, sensitivity and specificity between the two abstraction strategies. Discussion We demonstrate a reliable approach to electronically integrate placental pathology and delivery data. These linked data provide a platform to identify risk factors and sequelae associated with placental lesions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)687-692
Number of pages6
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015


  • Perinatal
  • Placenta
  • Pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Developmental Biology


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