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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 293690, 9 pages
Research Article

Morphometric Evaluation of Preeclamptic Placenta Using Light Microscopic Images

School of Medical Science and Technology, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, West Bengal 721302, India

Received 23 February 2014; Revised 25 May 2014; Accepted 26 May 2014; Published 23 June 2014

Academic Editor: Ivo Meinhold-Heerlein

Copyright © 2014 Rashmi Mukherjee. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Deficient trophoblast invasion and anomalies in placental development generally lead to preeclampsia (PE) but the inter-relationship between placental function and morphology in PE still remains unknown. The aim of this study was to evaluate the morphometric features of placental villi and capillaries in preeclamptic and normal placentae. The study included light microscopic images of placental tissue sections of 40 preeclamptic and 35 normotensive pregnant women. Preprocessing and segmentation of these images were performed to characterize the villi and capillaries. Fisher’s linear discriminant analysis (FLDA), hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA), and principal component analysis (PCA) were applied to identify the most significant placental (morphometric) features from microscopic images. A total of 10 morphometric features were extracted, of which the villous parameters were significantly altered in PE. FLDA identified 5 highly significant morphometric features (>90% overall discrimination accuracy). Two large subclusters were clearly visible in HCA based dendrogram. PCA returned three most significant principal components cumulatively explaining 98.4% of the total variance based on these 5 significant features. Hence, quantitative microscopic evaluation revealed that placental morphometry plays an important role in characterizing PE, where the villous is the major component that is affected.