Estimated Placental Volume
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Information for Providers
EPV can be measured from 7 to 40 weeks. Use widest angle probe for large placentas. Beyond 36 weeks the placenta may be too large to visualize the entire width.
Ideal measurements: Freeze a perpendicular cross section at the maximal width of placenta. Take Width measurements from edge to edge. Start at apex and measure Height and Thickness down to baseline along same line (at right angles to Width line). Height is always greater or equal to thickness.
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Steps to perform an EPV. If the placenta is an obvious crescent, find the maximum width while holding the probe perpendicular to the placenta surface. Start with the baseline Width measurement by creating a line from one tip of the placenta to the other, as shown by the (+) yellow line.
Find the maximal apex point of the crescent, place a point for a second line at this apex. The Height is measured by dragging the line from the apex to baseline (⸭), yellow line, making sure the Height line is perpendicular when it touches the Width line.
The Thickness is measured by starting from same apex point as Height and then measuring along the same line down to edge of placenta (✕), orange line.
If the placenta is flat, without any evidence of curvature, the above steps will not work. This most often happens with early first trimester placentas. In this case, first determine the maximal Width by measuring from tip to tip (yellow). The Height and Thickness lines (orange) are the same and are measured once to obtain both values. Simply plug the W, H and T values into the calculator and the correct EPV will be outputted.
See Azpurua et al. (2010) Determination of placental weight using two-dimensional sonography and volumetric mathematic modeling, Am J Perinatology, 27, 151-155 for details. Find the iPhone calculator here.