The placentas of 68 infants with intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) were examined for evidence of impaired uteroplacental circulation and compared with those of 65 appropriately grown infants. Infarcts and/or accelerated villous maturation were present in the placentas in 27 (40%) of the infants with IUGR compared with seven (11%) of the infants without IUGR (P<0.001). The infants were followed-up at 4 and 12 months of age and growth parameters recorded. Medical and developmental assessments and neuromotor developmental examinations were also performed. The 23 infants in the IUGR group with placentas with evidence of impaired uteroplacental circulation were compared with the 31 infants with IUGR with normal placentas. There was no difference between the groups in growth, cognitive development, or neuromotor abnormality. It was concluded that IUGR is strongly associated with placental markers of impaired uteroplacental blood flow while it would appear that there is no association between placental pathology and growth or neurodevelopment in the first year.