ST. LOUIS – Washington University St. Louis researchers will launch a study on if a scan used for brains will detect problems in the placenta during pregnancy.

The scan uses diffusion tensor magnetic resonance imaging (DTI), which became popular in the 1990s for examining the white matter of the brain. The brain is an extremely wet organ, sometimes needing a special scan. Washington University researchers want to know if the technology can detect problems in the wet environment of the placenta.

The March of Dimes pointed out that placental complications can lead to pre-term birth, growth issues for the baby, or even stillbirth.

Researchers are looking for participants who are 18 years or older, pregnant, with or without a history of spontaneous or pre-term birth, with no uterine anomalies, and with a Body Mass Index of 40 or less. 

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