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Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1986 Apr;154(4):806-13.

Uterine artery Doppler velocimetry in pregnant women with hypertension.


Uterine and umbilical artery velocimetry was carried out on 71 women with hypertensive disorders in pregnancy. Three categories of hypertensive disease were diagnosed: chronic hypertension, preeclampsia, and chronic hypertension with superimposed preeclampsia. Clinical classifications describe the severity of disease effectively, primarily because the classification is based on the appearance of abnormal physical or laboratory findings. Doppler velocimetry of the uterine arteries shows that normal pregnancy occurs when the systolic/diastolic ratio is less than or equal to 2.6. When the ratio exceeds this level and there is a notch in the waveform, the pregnancy is complicated by stillbirth, premature birth, intrauterine growth retardation, and maternal preeclampsia. The positive and negative predictive value of the examination is 93% and 91%, respectively. It appears that this new technology will be an essential ingredient of optimum pregnancy surveillance.

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