The aim of this study was to investigate the differences of placental elasticity between intra-uterine growth restriction (IUGR) and normal pregnancies to show whether or not there is any association between histopathological changes and placental elasticity. Fifty-five human placentas were collected at delivery, including 25 with IUGR and 30 controls. Strain elastography (SE) was performed ex vivo and all placentas were examined histopathologically. Elasticity index (EI) and histopathological findings were compared between groups. The placental stiffness and presence of histopathological changes were higher in the IUGR group than in controls (p < 0.05). Also, histopathological findings were associated with decreased EI values, but no specific patterns of histologic abnormalities were identified except villitis and delayed villous maturity. Distinct reduced placental elasticity could be the result of the cumulative effects of all the histologic findings in IUGR. (E-mail: email@example.com) (C) 2016 World Federation for Ultrasound in Medicine & Biology.