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J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2013 Apr;26(6):558-62. doi: 10.3109/14767058.2012.741153. Epub 2012 Nov 23.

Atypical hemodynamic pattern in fetuses with hypercoiled umbilical cord and growth restriction.

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Centre of Reproductive and Perinatal Medicine, Department of Obstetrics/Gynecology, Polo Unico Ospedaliero Santa Maria della Misericordia, University Hospital, San Sisto, Perugia, Italy.



To describe fetal and uterine hemodynamics in intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) fetuses with hypercoiled umbilical cord.


102 pregnant women with IUGR fetuses were enrolled in the study. In these cases, hemodynamic indices and Doppler waveform profiles were evaluated.


In seven of the enrolled cases of IUGR, we found an anomalous umbilical coiling. They showed normal impedance to flow in utero-placental district and abnormal venous umbilical cord pulsatility with flow velocity higher than the umbilical artery. The ductus venosus showed a reduction of the forward flow and/or a reverse flow during atrial contractions. Two of these seven patients had early onset IUGR and a particular deteriorating hemodynamic profile with "brain sparing", severe reverse flow in the ductus venosus, increased reverse flow in the inferior vena cava during atrial contraction and absent flow during the diastole in the umbilical arteries. Five patients had late onset of IUGR and three of these did not demonstrate these worsening hemodynamic alterations until term.


In patients with fetal IUGR and hypercoiling without signs of placental insufficiency, we observed an "atypical" feto-maternal hemodynamic pattern. These IUGR fetuses with hypercoiling and fetal venous system hemodynamic alteration can be at high hypoxic risk.

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