Three-dimensional power Doppler (3DPD) ultrasound in the diagnosis and follow-up of fetal vascular anomalies

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2006 Jan;194(1):274-81. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2005.08.045.


Objective: This study was undertaken to examine the value of 3-dimensional power Doppler (3DPD) ultrasound imaging in diagnosis and follow-up of fetal vascular anomalies.

Study design: In 174 women undergoing early second-trimester targeted organ scanning, followed by a midtrimester second scan in a university hospital setting, 3DPD was applied to the fetal intra-abdominal and intrathoracic vessels.

Results: In 137 of 174 fetuses (75%) in the earlier scan, and in 164 of 174 fetuses (95%) in the later scan, 3DPD ultrasound successfully visualized the fetal vessels. In an additional 9 cases, anomalous vascularity was identified: fetal intra-abdominal umbilical vein varix (2), persistent right umbilical vein (1), agenesis of ductus venosus (2), eventration of diaphragm (1), parenchymal and vascular lung anomaly (1), sacrococcygeal teratoma (1), and chorioangioma (1). 3DPD improved diagnostic precision, aided our understanding of anomalous structure, and added information on the vascular volume of lesions in some cases.

Conclusion: 3DPD improved ultrasound visualization of the fetal vessels of the abdomen and thorax in normal and anomalous cases.

MeSH terms

  • Blood Vessels / abnormalities*
  • Blood Vessels / diagnostic imaging*
  • Blood Vessels / embryology
  • Diaphragmatic Eventration / diagnostic imaging
  • Diaphragmatic Eventration / embryology
  • Female
  • Hemangioma / diagnostic imaging*
  • Hemangioma / embryology
  • Humans
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional*
  • Lung / blood supply
  • Lung / diagnostic imaging
  • Lung / embryology
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Trimester, Second
  • Teratoma / blood supply
  • Teratoma / diagnostic imaging*
  • Teratoma / embryology
  • Ultrasonography, Doppler*
  • Ultrasonography, Prenatal*