Placenta Function Study Recruiting Participants

The Future of Health Placenta Function Research Study recruited the first patient into the main study this week. Dinesh Shah, MD, of the UW Ob-Gyn Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine and Oliver Wieben, PhD, of the UW Department of Radiology, are principal investigators on this study.

As part of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)-funded Human Placenta Project, the University of Wisconsin-Madison placenta function research team will study and develop imaging techniques to identify pregnancy problems at a very early stage. The team will use cutting-edge ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques to measure early predictors of complications in pregnancies.

The research team piloted this study with 10 patients earlier this year. The women received ultrasounds and MRIs at 14 and 20 weeks. The pilot was very successful: all 10 patients attended both visits for a 100 percent retention rate, and they all reported a positive experience.

Now, recruitment is open for the main study. The research team hopes to recruit 160 participants over the next few years. In particular, they are looking for patients between the ages of 18 and 35 with singleton pregnancies who will be delivering their babies at Meriter Hospital. The ultrasound appointments will take place in the Meriter Center for Perinatal Care, while the MRI appointments are at UW Hospital and Clinics.