Fetal response to maternal exercise in pregnancies with uteroplacental insufficiency

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2005 Sep;193(3 Pt 2):995-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2005.06.035.


Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine the fetal response to submaximal maternal exercise at 22 to 26 weeks in pregnancies with abnormal uterine artery Doppler.

Study design: This was a prospective comparison of singleton pregnancies with uteroplacental vascular insufficiency (UPVI) (mean uterine pulsatility index [PI] values >1.45 [n = 12]) and those with normal uterine artery Doppler (n = 23). Maternal and fetal cardiovascular responses to 5 minutes of steady state cycling at 10% and at 15% of predicted work rate maximum were studied.

Results: Umbilical artery Doppler deteriorated after exercise in patients with UPVI (pre PI 1.4 [0.35-2.14], post PI 1.64 [0.45-2.18]). Three (25%) had transient absent-end diastolic flow (AEDF) in umbilical artery, 2 of which developed early-onset intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) with AEDF. Fetal cardiac output studies remained stable during the examinations.

Conclusion: Submaximal steady state exercise had a transient deleterious effect in a subset of women with uteroplacental vascular insufficiency destined to develop early-onset IUGR.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Echocardiography, Doppler
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Female
  • Fetus / physiology*
  • Heart Rate, Fetal / physiology
  • Humans
  • Placental Insufficiency / physiopathology*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Pregnancy Trimester, Second
  • Prospective Studies
  • Pulsatile Flow / physiology
  • Umbilical Arteries / physiopathology*