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Ultrasound Med Biol. 2008 Aug;34(8):1193-9. Epub 2007 Sep 29.

Pathological prenatal Doppler sonography findings and their association with neonatal cranial ultrasound abnormalities in a high risk collective.

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Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, University of Tuebingen, Tuebingen, Germany.

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  • Ultrasound Med Biol. 2008 Aug;34(8):1348-9.


The aim of this study was to evaluate whether prenatal Doppler ultrasound plays a role in the risk assessment of neonatal abnormal cranial ultrasound findings (NACU). Doppler examinations of blood flow velocities in the umbilical artery (n = 132), the fetal middle cerebral artery (n = 96) and the ductus venosus (n = 46) were conducted in 132 consecutive high-risk cases. The cases were divided into three groups: normal (I), pathological (II) and highly pathological Doppler (III) results, according to the resistance index calculated and were assessed for any association between the Doppler groups and the short-term outcome of the neonate, especially NACU. A significant association was found between Doppler groups and gestational age at delivery, birth weight, length and head circumference, growth restriction, cesarean section rate, Apgar score and pH values. NACU was diagnosed significantly more often in the pathological (12.1%) and highly pathological (38.5%) Doppler groups than in the group with normal Doppler (1.7%; p < 0.001). Multivariate analysis showed that the Doppler groups (odds ratio 1.67, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.14-2.84, p < 0.001) and gestational age at delivery (odds ratio 1.37, 95% CI 1.08-2.74; p < 0.001) were independent variables that could be used to predict NACU. The present study showed that a pathological prenatal Doppler result is highly predictive for NACU in addition to gestational age and can therefore be used for risk assessment.

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