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Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol. 2002 Feb;19(2):177-9.

Uterine artery resistance and anxiety in the second trimester of pregnancy.

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  • 1Academic Department of Psychiatry, St George's Hospital Medical School, London, UK.



To investigate the association between maternal anxiety and uterine artery resistance index (RI) at 20 weeks of gestation.


Uterine artery blood flow was assessed using color Doppler ultrasound and maternal anxiety was measured using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression (HAD) scale in 96 healthy primigravid women attending consecutively for their routine 20-week anomaly scan.


The mean uterine artery RI was 0.54 (95% confidence interval, 0.52-0.56) and the median HAD anxiety score was 6 (range, 0-20). There was no association between RI and anxiety scores (r = 0.09, P = 0.36). Women scoring as definite cases of anxiety did not have a significantly elevated uterine artery RI or increased frequency of waveform notching compared to women with doubtful or no anxiety.


The data of this study do not suggest a significant association between maternal anxiety and uterine artery RI at 20 weeks of gestation in healthy primigravid women with normally developing pregnancies. A prospective cohort study would be useful to determine the nature of the relationship between maternal anxiety, alteration in uterine artery blood flow and abnormal pregnancy outcome.

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