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Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol. 2011 Aug;38(2):179-84. doi: 10.1002/uog.8903. Epub 2011 Jul 15.

Sequence of changes in myocardial performance index in relation to aortic isthmus and ductus venosus Doppler in fetuses with early-onset intrauterine growth restriction.

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  • 1Department of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, ICGON, Hospital Clinic-IDIBAPS, University of Barcelona and Centre for Biomedical Research on Rare Diseases (CIBER-ER), Barcelona, Spain.



To explore the sequence of changes in myocardial performance index (MPI) and aortic isthmus (AoI) and ductus venosus (DV) flow in fetuses with early-onset intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR).


MPI and AoI and DV pulsatility indices (PI) were evaluated every 1-7 days in a cohort of IUGR fetuses with abnormal umbilical artery Doppler PI (> 95(th) percentile) delivered before 34 weeks' gestation. The longitudinal changes were analyzed in the last 30 days before delivery by multilevel and survival analysis.


A total of 430 scans were performed on 115 IUGR fetuses. MPI, AoI-PI and DV-PI showed increases with the progression of fetal deterioration throughout the follow-up study period, but the rates of progression were different. On average, MPI, AoI-PI and DV-PI crossed the 95(th) percentile at 26 days, 12 days and 5 days before delivery, respectively. At the last examination before delivery, the proportion of increased MPI (70.4%) was significantly higher than that of abnormal AoI-PI (55.7%; P < 0.01) and DV-PI (47.8%; P < 0.01).


In early-onset IUGR, MPI and AoI and DV Doppler indices all increase but at different rates, which could provide the basis for further research on their use for improving in-utero monitoring and prediction of long-term outcome.

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