(1/261) Simultaneous multigate spectral Doppler imaging of the umbilical artery and placental vessels: novel ultrasound technology.

OBJECTIVE: To establish gestational age-specific nomograms of pulsatility indices in the umbilical artery and chorionic and intraplacental vessels, using novel ultrasound technology. STUDY DESIGN: A prospective, cross-sectional study of 160 healthy singleton pregnancies between 18 and 33 weeks of gestation. MEASUREMENTS: Using simultaneous multigate spectral Doppler imaging specialized hardware and software, we measured the flow velocity waveforms of the umbilical artery, chorionic and intraplacental vessels. Computerized automatic mapping calculated the pulsatility indices in regions of interest. RESULTS: Data were adequately obtained for 160 fetuses. The pulsatility index values in the three sites measured decreased with advancing gestational age; the correlation coefficients r = -0.74, r = -0.67 and r = -0.68 for the umbilical artery, chorionic and intraplacental vessels, respectively, were found to be highly statistically significant (p < 0.0001). CONCLUSION: Simultaneous multigate spectral Doppler imaging provides simultaneous measurements of the velocity waveforms in the umbilical artery, chorionic and intraplacental vessels, and is a feasible and reproducible method of obtaining these data. The normal data presented may facilitate early detection of flow disturbances in the fetoplacental circulation.  (+info)

(2/261) Placental blood flow measured by simultaneous multigate spectral Doppler imaging in pregnancies complicated by placental vascular abnormalities.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the role of placental blood flow measurements by simultaneous multigate spectral Doppler imaging in pregnancies complicated by intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR), and for early detection of placental vascular abnormalities in high- and low-risk pregnancies. METHODS: To assess the sensitivity and specificity of abnormal placental blood flow in detecting IUGR, we followed 22 women whose pregnancies were complicated by IUGR at 28-34 weeks' gestation, and compared the findings with those obtained in 22 matched controls. We defined placental blood flow impedance as abnormal when 10% of placental pulsatility index (PI) measurements were greater than, or equal to, the mean umbilical artery PI (placental PI/umbilical PI > or = 1). To determine the predictive value of abnormal placental blood flow measurement for identifying developing uteroplacental insufficiency, we examined an unselected group of 100 low- and high-risk patients at 20-22 weeks' gestation. We correlated the Doppler findings with the development of pre-eclampsia, IUGR, placental abruption, oligohydramnios and the presence of persistent late decelerations during labor. RESULTS: Placental blood flow determination was more sensitive than umbilical artery blood flow in detecting abnormal umbilical-placental flow impedances as manifested by the presence of IUGR. Of the 100 mixed high- and low-risk patients examined at 20-22 weeks, 32 had abnormal placental blood flow. Of these, 19 (59.4%) subsequently developed pathologies associated with placental vascular disease. Of the 68 patients with normal placental blood flow, only six (8.8%) developed such pathologies. The sensitivity was 76% (19/25), with positive predictive value 59.4% (19/32); the specificity was 82.7% (62/75), with negative predictive value 91.2% (62/68). CONCLUSIONS: Abnormal intraplacental blood flow at 28-34 weeks' gestation is strongly associated with IUGR. In addition, it has moderate positive and negative predictive values for identifying subsequent development of uteroplacental vascular abnormalities.  (+info)

(3/261) Mid-trimester uterine artery Doppler screening as a predictor of adverse pregnancy outcome in high-risk women.

OBJECTIVE: To assess the value of uterine artery Doppler ultrasound screening, when performed in a clinical setting, to predict complications of impaired uteroplacental blood flow in high-risk women. DESIGN: A prospective audit. SUBJECTS: A total of 116 pregnancies in 114 women at high risk of pre-eclampsia and/or small-for-gestational-age (SGA) babies attending a maternal-fetal medicine clinic at National Women's Hospital, a tertiary referral hospital, Auckland, New Zealand. METHODS: Uterine artery Doppler screening was performed as part of clinical practice between 22 and 24 weeks' gestation. A resistance index (RI) was calculated from each uterine artery and the presence or absence of a notch was determined. An RI of > 0.58 was defined as abnormal and an RI of > or = 0.7 was defined as very abnormal. The main outcome measures were: pre-eclampsia, SGA baby (birth weight < 10th centile), placental abruption, intrauterine death, 'all' and 'severe' outcomes. RESULTS: Thirty-two (27.5%) women developed pre-eclampsia, 31 (26.7%) had SGA babies, 23 (20%) were delivered at < 34 weeks because of pregnancy complications, and there were three (2.6%) placental abruptions and three (2.6%) perinatal deaths. The sensitivity of any RI of > 0.58 for pre-eclampsia, SGA, 'all' outcomes and 'severe' outcome was 91%, 84%, 83% and 90%, respectively. The specificity of any RI of > 0.58 for these outcomes was 42%, 39%, 47% and 38%, respectively. The positive predictive value of any RI of > 0.58 for the same outcomes was 37%, 33%, 58% and 24%, respectively. Among women with both RI values of > or = 0.7, 58%, 67%, 85% and 58% developed pre-eclampsia, SGA, 'all' and 'severe' outcomes, respectively. In women with bilateral notches, 47%, 53%, 76% and 65% developed the respective outcomes. Women with both RI values of > or = 0.7 and women with bilateral notches had relative risks of 11.1 (95% CI 2.6-46.4) and 12.7 (95% CI 4.0-40.4) for developing severe outcome, respectively. Only 5% of women with both RI values of < 0.58 developed a severe outcome. CONCLUSION: In high-risk women, uterine artery Doppler waveform analysis performed best in the prediction of severe adverse outcome and was better than clinical risk assessment in the prediction of pre-eclampsia and SGA babies. Further studies are necessary to determine how information from uterine artery Doppler studies should modify current practice in high-risk women.  (+info)

(4/261) A prospective management study of slow-release aspirin in the palliation of uteroplacental insufficiency predicted by uterine artery Doppler at 20 weeks.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the effect of low-dose, slow-release aspirin in reducing the incidence and/or severity of pregnancy complications in women identified as high risk of developing problems associated with uteroplacental insufficiency, namely pre-eclampsia or delivering a small-for-gestational age (SGA) baby. DESIGN: A prospective, randomized management study. One thousand and twenty-two women of mixed parity underwent color flow/pulsed Doppler (CFPD) imaging of the uterine arteries at the time of the 17-23 week (mean 19.9) anomaly scan. Women who were screen positive were randomized to a control or treatment group. The treatment group was given 100-mg slow-release aspirin (Disprin CV) daily and followed up at regular intervals. Women in the routine group received routine antenatal care. Main outcome measures were pre-eclampsia and SGA < 3rd centile. Secondary outcome measures were: SGA < 10th centile, pre-eclampsia requiring delivery before 34 weeks, placental abruption, an Apgar score < 7 at 5 min, admission to neonatal intensive care unit or a pregnancy that resulted in a stillbirth or neonatal death. Odds ratios (OR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated for severe and any complications. RESULTS: Two hundred and sixteen women were screen positive according to the defined criteria. One hundred and three women were assigned to the treatment group and 113 to the control group. The difference in the incidence of pre-eclampsia and SGA < 3rd centile between the control and treatment groups did not reach statistical significance. There was a statistically significant reduction in any (OR 0.41 (CI 0.35-0.45), P < 0.01) and severe pregnancy complications (OR 0.43 (CI 0.21-0.84), P < 0.05) in the treatment group compared with the controls. CONCLUSIONS: The administration of slow-release aspirin to women identified as high risk, using color Doppler imaging of the uterine arteries at 20 weeks' gestation, did not significantly alter the incidence of pre-eclampsia or delivery of a SGA baby. It did, however, improve the outcome by reducing the overall incidence of complications associated with uteroplacental insufficiency.  (+info)

(5/261) Effects of low-dose aspirin on uterine and fetal blood flow during pregnancy: results of a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial.

OBJECTIVE: This study was conducted to evaluate uteroplacental and fetal hemodynamics in fetuses exposed to low-dose aspirin (100 mg/d). DESIGN: Randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial. SUBJECTS: The study protocol included singleton pregnancies of less than 20 gestational weeks at risk for pre-eclampsia or fetal growth restriction. Exclusion criteria were diabetes mellitus, pre-existing proteinuric hypertension or fetal malformations. Forty-three pregnant women were randomly allocated to daily treatment with 100 mg aspirin (n = 22) or placebo (n = 21). METHODS: Pulsed Doppler measurements of the uterine artery, fetal middle cerebral artery, fetal aorta, ductus arteriosus and atrioventricular valves were performed longitudinally at 14 day intervals starting from 18 gestational weeks until delivery. Results were expressed as group medians (aspirin vs. placebo) and were analyzed by Mann-Whitney U-test. RESULTS: There was no difference in uterine, umbilical, aortic, middle cerebral and ductus arteriosus blood flow between the aspirin group and controls. Median ductal peak flow velocities increased with gestational age in both groups, but differences between groups did not reach significance. In the third trimester of pregnancy, ductal peak velocities > 140 cm/s were occasionally observed in both groups. However, end diastolic velocities > 35 cm/s or atrioventricular valve regurgitation never occurred. CONCLUSIONS: Daily administration of low-dose aspirin during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy does not alter uteroplacental or fetoplacental hemodynamics and does not cause moderate or severe constriction of the ductus arteriosus.  (+info)

(6/261) Ultrastructural evidence of transplacental transport of immunoglobulin G in bitches.

In dogs, passive immunity is conferred to fetuses and neonates by the transfer of maternal immunoglobulin G through the placenta during the last trimester of pregnancy and via the mammary gland after parturition, respectively. However, morphological evidence of transplacental transport is still lacking. The aim of the present study was to localize maternal immunoglobulin G in the labyrinthine zone and in the haemophagous zone of the canine placenta by means of immunohistochemistry and immunocytochemistry. In the labyrinthine zone, immunoglobulin G was detected in all the layers of the materno-fetal barrier including the fetal capillaries. Immunoreactivity was particularly prominent in maternal basement membrane material as well as in the syncytiotrophoblast. However, this evidence of transplacental transport of immunoglobulin G originated from a limited number of unevenly distributed maternal vessels only. In the cytotrophoblast of the haemophagous zone, immunoglobulin G was localized to phagolysosomes at various stages but was never detected within fetal vessels. The results indicate that maternal immunoglobulin G is degraded in cytotrophoblast cells of the hemophagous zone and, therefore, that transplacental transport is restricted to a subpopulation of maternal vessels in the labyrinthine zone.  (+info)

(7/261) Role of ductus venosus in distribution of umbilical blood flow in human fetuses during second half of pregnancy.

Color Doppler sonography was used to study umbilical and ductus venosus (DV) flow in 137 normal fetuses between 20 and 38 wk of gestation. Hepatic flows were also evaluated. In all parts of the venous circulation examined, blood flow increased significantly with advancing gestational age. The weight-specific amniotic umbilical flow did not change significantly during gestation (120 +/- 44 ml. min(-1). kg(-1)), whereas DV flow decreased significantly (from 60 to 17 ml. min(-1). kg(-1)). The percentage of umbilical blood flow shunted through the DV decreased significantly (from 40% to 15%); consequently, the percentage of flow to the liver increased. The right lobe flow changed from 20 to 45%, whereas the left lobe flow was approximately constant (40%). These changes are related to different patterns of growth of the umbilical veins and DV diameters. The present data support the hypothesis that the DV plays a less important role in shunting well-oxygenated blood to the brain and myocardium in late normal pregnancy than in early gestation, which leads to increased fetal liver perfusion.  (+info)

(8/261) The influence of maternal exercise on placental blood flow measured by Simultaneous Multigate Spectral Doppler Imaging (SM-SDI)

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effect of maternal isometric exercise on the placental blood flow as reflected by the velocimetric indices PI and RI derived from placental arteries. SUBJECTS: Thirty-four healthy women with normal singleton pregnancies between 22 and 35 weeks of gestation. METHODS: All subjects underwent an isometric handgrip exercise test. Maternal blood pressure and heart rate together with placental PI and RI were measured at rest, during the exercise and in the post-exercise recovery phase. All Doppler measurements were obtained using the Simultaneous Multigate Spectral Doppler Imaging (SM-SDI) technique, a new ultrasound modality that enables a Doppler study of multiple locations to take place within a very short time. RESULTS: There was a significant increase in the mean values of the maternal blood pressure and heart rate during the exercise and a significant decline in the recovery phase. There was no significant change in the mean values of the Doppler indices throughout the examination. CONCLUSION: Isometric handgrip exercise test during pregnancy does not affect the impedance of the placental circulation.  (+info)