Single umbilical artery is associated with an increased incidence of structural and chromosomal anomalies and growth restriction

Am J Perinatol. 2000;17(5):229-32. doi: 10.1055/s-2000-10002.


The objective to characterize neonatal outcome associated with ultrasonographic identification of a single umbilical artery. Pregnancies diagnosed with single umbilical artery antenatally were identified. All prenatal/antenatal and pediatric records were reviewed for maternal demographics, associated anomalies, karyotypic analysis, pregnancy complications, and neonatal outcome. Twenty-seven pregnancies complicated by fetal single umbilical artery were identified. Of the 27 pregnancies, 5 (18.5%) underwent pregnancy termination and 1 (3.7%) experienced fetal demise. Of the 21 liveborn infants, 4 (19%) died within the first year of life. Sixty-seven percent of fetuses had an associated structural anomaly. Sixteen of the 27 pregnancies underwent amniocentesis and 7 of these were chromosomally abnormal. All of the karyotypically abnormal fetuses had a structural defect in addition to the single umbilical artery. Of the six fetuses without any associated structural or chromosomal anomalies, three (50%) demonstrated growth restriction. Single umbilical artery is relatively rare finding. When a single umbilical artery is identified, a vigilant search for associated anomalies should be undertaken. Pregnancies identified as having fetuses with associated structural anomalies should be offered amniocentesis. Pregnancies with isolated single umbilical artery should be carefully monitored for evidence of fetal growth restriction.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Chromosome Aberrations / etiology*
  • Chromosome Aberrations / genetics
  • Chromosome Disorders
  • Female
  • Fetal Growth Retardation / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Karyotyping
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Ultrasonography, Prenatal
  • Umbilical Arteries / abnormalities*
  • Umbilical Arteries / diagnostic imaging