Pilot Award Recipient: Nickie Niforatos Andescavage, MD

Feto-Placental Development in Pregnancies Complicated by Human Immunodeficiency Virus

Dr. Nickie Andescavage
April 15, 2020

Pregnancies complicated by HIV have significantly higher risk of fetal complications attributed to uteroplacental insufficiency than their HIV negative counterparts, such as intrauterine grow th restriction and low neonatal birth w eight. Additionally, there is considerable concern for delayed cognitive and motor skill development in HIV exposed but uninfected, and HIV positive children, compared to their HIV unexposed and uninfected peers. Furthermore, despite adequate viral suppression, there is evidence that inflammatory biomarkers remain elevated, w ith unknow n effects on the developing fetus. Over the past 10 years, our team has been at the forefront of developing quantitative MRI (qMRI) techniques to non-invasively study in utero fetal brain and placental development in healthy & high-risk fetuses. Our overarching objective is to assess the use of qMRI to evaluate placental etiology of potential fetal morbidity and abnormal neurodevelopment in pregnancies complicated by HIV as a possible predictive and/or diagnostic tool.