The use of elastography in placental research – A literature review

Christopher Edwards, Erika Cavanagh, Sailesh Kumar, Vicki Clifton, Davide Fontanarosa

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Ultrasound elastography is a technique used to quantify biomechanical changes that occur in parenchymal tissue with disease. Recent research has applied the technique to the placenta in order to investigate changes associated with uteroplacental dysfunction. We performed a literature review to summarise the current available information regarding this novel technique. Methods: Pubmed, CINAHL and Embase were searched using the terms “placenta”, “ultrasound” and “elastography”. Only full text studies written in English and limited to placental sonoelastography were included. Results: Twenty-eight studies met the inclusion criteria and were included in this review. Publications were divided into in vivo and ex vivo groups, and further categorised into four subgroups: normal pregnancy, pregnancy-induced hypertension and pre-eclampsia, fetal growth restriction and other pregnancy complications. Conclusion: Ultrasound elastography can quantitatively assess biomechanical properties of the placenta in conditions where placental function is compromised.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-88
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sept 2020
Externally publishedYes


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