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Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 2007 Jun;132(2):148-53. Epub 2006 Dec 27.

Hemodynamic changes in the fetal arteries during the second half of pregnancy assessed by Doppler velocimetry.

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  • 1Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Faculty of Medicine of Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo University, Av. Bandeirantes, 3.900, Monte Alegre, CEP: 14048-900, Ribeirão Preto-São Paulo-Brazil. gadelhamail@yahoo.com.br


The applicability of Doppler velocimetry has been well established regarding intrauterine growth restriction and fetal hypoxia. This method can also be used to determine fetal anemia and cardiac malformations. The main fetal arteries evaluated by Doppler velocimetry are the middle cerebral artery and the umbilical artery. However, the fetal aorta is responsible for the distribution of blood flow to the upper and lower extremities of the human body and should also be properly valued. In order to characterize abnormalities in the arteries of high-risk fetuses, it is necessary to know the hemodynamic modifications of normal fetuses. On this basis, the authors performed a review of fetal hemodynamics evaluated by Doppler velocimetry in the fetal aorta and middle cerebral and umbilical arteries during the second half of pregnancy. The study of fetal vessels by Doppler velocimetry indirectly evaluates the hemodynamic changes occurring in fetuses at risk. In this respect, we emphasize the changes in Doppler velocimetry occurring in fetal anemia, in restricted intrauterine growth, and in normal fetuses.

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