Quantitative analysis of fetal pulmonary vasculature by 3-dimensional power Doppler ultrasonography in isolated congenital diaphragmatic hernia

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2006 Dec;195(6):1720-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2006.05.010. Epub 2006 Jun 12.


Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the potential of 3-dimensional (3D) power Doppler imaging to predict neonatal outcome and pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) in congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH).

Study design: In this prospective observational study, 3D-power Doppler ultrasonography was performed in 21 cases with isolated CDH between 23 and 33 weeks of gestation and in 58 controls between 20 and 40 weeks. Using the same preestablished settings for all cases, power Doppler was applied to each lung, and fetal lung volumes (FLV) were estimated using the rotational technique. The 3D power Doppler histogram was used to determine the vascular indices, which were plotted against gestational age and compared with neonatal outcome, PAH, gestational age, and FLV.

Results: Fetal pulmonary vascular indices showed a constant distribution throughout gestation, being significantly lower in cases with CDH than in controls (P < .001). Among CDH cases, the vascular indices were significantly lower in fetuses who died (P < .05), and in fetuses with neonatal PAH (P < .05). The severity of neonatal PAH was also associated with a progressive reduction in prenatal vascular indices (P < .05). All vascular indices correlated with o/e-FLV, but not with gestational age.

Conclusion: All vascular indices seem to be constant throughout gestation. In isolated CDH, perinatal outcome and postnatal PAH can be predicted using the vascular indices assessed by 3D power Doppler histogram.

MeSH terms

  • Blood Vessels / diagnostic imaging
  • Female
  • Fetal Death
  • Fetus / blood supply*
  • Gestational Age
  • Head / diagnostic imaging
  • Hernia, Diaphragmatic / complications
  • Hernia, Diaphragmatic / diagnostic imaging*
  • Hernias, Diaphragmatic, Congenital
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / etiology
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / mortality
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / physiopathology
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Lung / diagnostic imaging
  • Lung / embryology*
  • Lung / physiopathology
  • Lung Volume Measurements
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Pregnancy
  • Prospective Studies
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Ultrasonography, Doppler*
  • Ultrasonography, Prenatal*