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Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1994 Sep;171(3):713-21.

An abnormal umbilical artery waveform: a strong and independent predictor of adverse perinatal outcome in patients with preeclampsia.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, College of Medicine, Seoul National University, Korea.



An abnormal umbilical artery Doppler waveform is a risk factor for adverse perinatal outcome. However, it has not been established whether this is related to the earlier gestational age at delivery of fetuses with abnormal Doppler findings or whether Doppler findings are an independent predictor of perinatal outcome. Our purpose was to determine whether an abnormal Doppler umbilical artery waveform is associated with adverse perinatal outcome even after the gestational age at delivery is controlled for as a confounding variable in patients with preeclampsia.


Umbilical artery velocimetry studies were performed within 7 days of delivery in 72 consecutive patients admitted to our unit with preeclampsia. Adverse perinatal outcome was defined as fetal distress requiring cesarean delivery. Apgar score < 7 at 5 minutes, significant neonatal morbidity, or perinatal death. Significant neonatal morbidity was defined as neonatal sepsis, intraventricular hemorrhage (grade > or = 2), respiratory distress syndrome, pneumonia, bronchopulmonary dysplasia, acute renal failure, or necrotizing enterocolitis. Stepwise multiple logistic regression and receiver-operator characteristic curve analysis were used.


Patients with abnormal umbilical artery velocimetry had a significantly higher rate of complications, including cesarean section for fetal distress, preterm delivery, low Apgar scores, significant neonatal morbidity, and perinatal death, than did patients with a normal waveform. Receiver-operator characteristic curve and stepwise logistic regression analysis indicated that an abnormal umbilical artery waveform was a significant independent predictor for the development of adverse perinatal outcome (odds ratio 14.2, p < 0.005) after other confounding variables were adjusted.


An abnormal Doppler umbilical artery waveform is a strong and independent predictor of adverse perinatal outcome in patients with preeclampsia.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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