Effect of antenatal corticosteroid administration on Doppler flow velocity parameters in pregnancies with absent or reverse end-diastolic flow in the umbilical artery

Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2003 Sep;82(9):794-6.


Objective: Evaluation of alterations of Doppler flow velocity waveforms after antenatal corticosteroid therapy.

Methods: Pulsatility index of the umbilical artery, middle cerebral artery and ductus venosus waveforms was measured in high-risk pregnancies complicated by umbilical AREDV directly prior to and within 24 or 48 hours after application of the first dose of a steroid treatment course.

Results: Return of a positive end-diastolic flow after umbilical AREDV or conversion of REDV into zero-flow was detected in 9 of 20 (45%) pregnancies after steroid application. Neither in the group which showed altered umbilical end-diastolic flow nor in the total of patients investigated was there any significant change in the PI of the umbilical artery or the ductus venosus waveforms. In contrast, there was an overall drop of pulsatility in the middle cerebral artery.

Conclusions: Antenatal corticosteroid administration could increase cerebral perfusion but has no influence on umbilical and venous blood flow.

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / administration & dosage
  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / pharmacology*
  • Adult
  • Betamethasone / administration & dosage
  • Betamethasone / pharmacology
  • Blood Flow Velocity / drug effects*
  • Dexamethasone / administration & dosage
  • Dexamethasone / pharmacology
  • Female
  • Fetal Heart / drug effects
  • Fetal Heart / physiology
  • Fetus / blood supply*
  • Humans
  • Laser-Doppler Flowmetry
  • Medical Records
  • Middle Cerebral Artery / drug effects
  • Middle Cerebral Artery / physiology
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Trimester, Third
  • Pregnancy, High-Risk / physiology*
  • Pulsatile Flow / drug effects*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Umbilical Arteries / drug effects
  • Umbilical Arteries / physiology


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones
  • Dexamethasone
  • Betamethasone