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Hum Reprod. 2004 Jan;19(1):206-9.

Decreased endovascular trophoblast invasion in first trimester pregnancies with high-resistance uterine artery Doppler indices.

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  • 1Fetal Medicine Unit, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, St George's Hospital Medical School, London SW17 0RE, UK.



Defective trophoblastic invasion in early pregnancy is involved in the pathogenesis of pre- eclampsia. This study investigates the relationship between Doppler assessment of uterine artery resistance and endovascular trophoblastic invasion in the first trimester of pregnancy.


Patients undergoing termination of pregnancy for non-medical reasons were categorized as having a low- or high-resistance uterine artery blood flow pattern by transabdominal Doppler ultrasound. Products of conception were examined histologically with regard to the extent of decidual endovascular trophoblast invasion.


There were 14 low-resistance and 17 high-resistance uterine artery blood flow pregnancies identified at 10-14 weeks of gestation. Normal intradecidual endovascular trophoblast invasion was identified with a similar frequency in both groups (P=0.79). However, the proportion of decidual vessels with endovascular trophoblast invasion was significantly higher in the low-resistance pregnancies (49%) compared with the high-resistance ones (34%, P=0.02).


The findings of this study support the use of uterine artery Doppler investigation for the non-invasive assessment of trophoblast invasion in early pregnancy. Further studies are necessary to clarify the biological significance of these observations and their potential clinical applications.

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