EFFECTS OF DAILY ORAL IRON SUPPLEMENTATION ON HISTOMORPHOLOGY OF RAT PLACENTA
To assess the effects of daily oral iron supplementation during pregnancy on the histomorphology of rat placenta.
Study Design: Randomized controlled trial.
Place and Duration of Study:
NIH and Army Medical College Rawalpindi, from Oct 2010 to Jan 2011.
Material and Methods:
Thirty two adult female and ten adult male Sprague Dawley rats were taken. After pregnancy was confirmed they were divided randomly into two equal groups and Ferrous Sulphate (FeSO4) was administered at the dose of 0 mg/Kg body weight (control) and 10 mg/Kg body weight (Experimental), starting from gestation day 0 (GD 0). Half of the animals from each group were sacrificed at GD 17 and half at GD 20. The placentae were separated; sections were taken and processed for light microscopic examination. In H&E and PAS stained slides, thickness of labyrinthine zone, trophospongium zone and fetomaternal barrier was measured and number of giant cells were counted.
The results were assessed at GD 17 and GD 20. The results showed no significant difference in the histomorphology of placenta at GD 17. At GD 20, significant decrease in thickness of labyrinthine zone and trophospongium zone and significant reduction in the number of giant cells in experimental group as compared to the control group was noted. There is no significant difference in the thickness of fetomaternal barrier.
Adequate iron supplementation is crucial for maintaining healthy pregnancy. Blood volume increases during pregnancy, so extra iron is needed to make more hemoglobin that is critical for the normal development of placenta especially duing the last trimester. There should be increased awareness regarding the need of healthy diet and iron supplementation at the beginning of the pregnancy.