The ovulation-implantation interval is fundamental to understanding fetal size

A recent paper has been published in the international journal Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology. The authors concluded that early implantation leads to a larger CRL and late implantation to a smaller CRL at 10–14 weeks, independent of CRL growth rate. The conclusion is that Implantation timing is a major determinant of fetal size at 10 – 14 weeks and largely explains the variation in estimates of GA in the first trimester derived from embryonic or fetal CRL. The major finding of the study was that  fetal size at 10 – 14 weeks’ gestation is mainly a composite of ovulation and implantation timing. This may prove to be a fundamental biological insight. Previously variations in size of the first trimester embryo were though to reflect the time from conception. This new study shows that the ovulation to implantation interval is a significant contributor. This work ties in with publications from Professor Jan Brosens group in Warwick. Brosens takes the view that defects in decidualisation leading to an abnormal implantation interval is a precursor to recurrent miscarriage. What is clear is that these events in early pregnancy are of real interest and will become the focus of research efforts in the next few years.

Professor Tom Bourne

Professor Tom Bourne is Adjunct Professor at Imperial College London, and Consultant Gynaecologist at Queen Charlotte's and Chelsea Hospital. He is also visiting Professor at KU Leuven, Belgium. He has extensive clinical and research experience in early pregnancy care as well as gynaecological ultrasound. He has published over 300 academic papers with an H-index of 63. He advises NICE, is trustee of the ectopic pregnancy trust, President of the UK association of early pregnancy units (AEPU) and on the board of ISUOG. He has a private practice at The Women's Ultrasound Centres at 86 Harley Street and Parkside Hospital in Wimbledon.

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About Professor Tom Bourne

Professor Tom Bourne is Adjunct Professor at Imperial College London, and Consultant Gynaecologist at Queen Charlotte's and Chelsea Hospital. He is also visiting Professor at KU Leuven, Belgium. He has extensive clinical and research experience in early pregnancy care as well as gynaecological ultrasound. He has published over 300 academic papers with an H-index of 63. He advises NICE, is trustee of the ectopic pregnancy trust, President of the UK association of early pregnancy units (AEPU) and on the board of ISUOG. He has a private practice at The Women's Ultrasound Centres at 86 Harley Street and Parkside Hospital in Wimbledon.
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