The placenta is an important organ for the baby in pregnancy, transferring oxygen and nutrients from the mother for growth and development. Placental dysfunction is thought to be the cause of many pregnancy-related conditions including preeclampsia.

Our ways of assessing placental function during pregnancy (known as in vivo) are currently not perfect and indirect assessments are often used in clinical practice as a surrogate for placental function. Magnetic resonance (MR) imaging of the placenta may offer a direct, non-invasive in vivo assessment of the placenta.

The aim of the project was to find out more about new ways of looking at placental function in women with preeclampsia and compare them to women with uncomplicated pregnancies.