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Comparing placentas from normal and abnormal pregnancies

Heazell, Alexander and Cotter, SL and Gallimore, L. and Greenhalgh, David and Kennedy, S. and Klika, V. and Kritz, M. and Nelson, P. and Preedy, Katharine and Pu, I. and Stechi, A. and Siggers, J. and Whittaker, R. (2010) Comparing placentas from normal and abnormal pregnancies. Mathematics in Medicine.

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This report describes work carried out at a Mathematics-in-Medicine Study Group. It is believed that placenta shape villous network characteristics are strongly linked to the placenta’s efficiency, and hence to pregnancy outcome. We were asked to consider mathematical ways to describe the shape and other characteristics of a placenta, as well as forming mathematical models for placenta development. In this report we propose a number of possible measure of placental shape, form, and efficiency, which can be computed from images already obtained. We also consider various models for the early development of placentas and the growth of the villous tree.