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Arch Gynecol. 1986;237(4):191-7.

Correlation between umbilical vein blood flow and umbilical blood viscosity in normal and complicated pregnancies.


Umbilical vein blood flow (UVBF) was studied during the last 24 h before delivery using a combination of real-time and Doppler ultrasonic equipment in 64 normal and pathological pregnancies and the results were correlated with the values of whole blood viscosity taken from the umbilical vein after delivery. UVBF was reduced in the subgroup with chronic fetal distress (n = 14) (P less than 0.001) and the hypertensive pregnancies (n = 17) (P less than 0.05), whereas umbilical blood viscosity was increased only in the subgroup with chronic fetal distress (P less than 0.01) as compared with the normal pregnancies (n = 24). A significant positive correlation was observed between the umbilical blood viscosity and haematocrit values in all the groups of patients. UVBF and blood viscosity had a significant negative correlation in chronic fetal distress (P less than 0.001) and in hypertensive pregnancies (P less than 0.05), but not in normal or diabetic pregnancies (n = 9). Thus haemoconcentration leading to increased fetal blood viscosity may act as an aetiological factor in the reduction of UVBF in developing fetal distress.

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