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Obstet Gynecol Sci. 2016 Nov;59(6):463-469. Epub 2016 Nov 15.

Uterine artery pulsatility index in hypertensive pregnancies: When does the index normalize in the puerperium?

Author information

1
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
2
Department of Radiology and Institute of Radiation Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To investigate whether the uterine artery pulsatility index (UtA PI) of hypertensive pregnancies is higher than that of normal pregnancies in the puerperium, as well as in the antepartum period.

METHODS:

The UtA PI was measured in hypertensive (group 1) and normal pregnancies (group 2) during antepartum, immediate postpartum or late postpartum periods. Using the transvaginal approach, the bilateral uterine artery indices were measured.

RESULTS:

One hundred twenty-two women were enrolled: group 1, hypertensive disease in pregnancy (11 cases in antepartum, 13 cases in immediate postpartum and 10 cases in late postpartum period); group 2, normal pregnancies (32 cases in antepartum, 29 cases in immediate postpartum and 27 cases in late postpartum). In antepartum and immediate postpartum periods, the mean UtA PI and the proportion of cases with an early diastolic notch were higher in group 1 than in group 2 (antepartum mean UtA PI, 1.14 in group 1 vs. 0.68 in group 2, P<0.001; early diastolic notch, 46% vs. 9%, P<0.05; immediate postpartum mean UtA PI, 1.30 vs. 1.08, P<0.05; early diastolic notch, 85% vs. 48%, P<0.05). In late postpartum period, the mean value of UtA PI of group 1 was still higher than that of group 2, although the proportion of cases with an early diastolic notch was not different (mean UtA PI, 1.43 vs. 1.20, P<0.05; early diastolic notch, 60% vs. 52%, P=0.73).

CONCLUSION:

The UtA PI in hypertensive pregnancies was still higher than normal pregnancies in puerperal periods, suggesting that more than several weeks are required to resolve increased uterine artery vascular impedance.

KEYWORDS:

Doppler; Hypertension; Postpartum period; Pre-eclampsia; Uterine artery

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