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Fractal analysis of placenta mature villi in healthy, smoking and non-smoking women

Ewa Wielgus, Krzysztof Pawlicki, Aneta Kawa, Stanisław Włoch, Marcin Kamiński

Med Sci Monit 2000; 6(2): BR271-277 :: ID: 508401

Abstract

Not all the objects created by nature can be described by means of the classical Euclidean geometry rules. New, quickly developing fractal theory can provide another instrument for describing irregular surfaces of e.g. geometric structures and objects whose development results from growth, differentiation and degeneration processes. In the present study we decided to perform fractal analysis of mature, terminal villi of placenta taken from smoking and non-smoking women, during the third trimester of pregnancy. The aim of this study was to find another morphometric parameter, independent of subjective factors, which would provide new information about the studied structure. Placentas were taken from healthy women, untreated primiparas, who did not undergo any hormonal treatment, aged 18 to 27. The material was divided into: control group - placentas from non-smoking women, and two experimental groups - placentas from non-smoking up to 30 cigarettes daily and placentas from women smoking up to 30 cigarettes daily and placentas from women smoking over 30 cigarettes daily. Fractal dimension was determined by three methods: box counting, dilation and mass scaling method. Taking under consideration the results obtained in the present study it seems that fractal dimension, objectively and independently of many factors, allows to perform mathematical estimation of the parameter which is the terminal villi occurrence density within placenta. Among the applied fractal analysis methods, used for placenta terminal villi density grade estimation, the most useful seems to be the box counting method, whereas for estimating villi surface complication - the ratio - mass scaling method. Comparing obtained fractal dimension results, we have found that they increase together with the amount of cigarettes smoked during pregnancy.
key words:fractal analysis • placenta • morphometry • smoking

Keywords: Smoking, morphometry, Placenta, fractal analysis

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