Small-for-gestational-age fetuses with normal umbilical artery Doppler have suboptimal perinatal and neurodevelopmental outcome

Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 2008 Jan;136(1):34-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ejogrb.2007.02.016. Epub 2007 Apr 16.


Objective: To evaluate the perinatal and neurodevelopmental outcome of small-for-gestational-age fetuses with normal umbilical artery Doppler managed expectantly during pregnancy and delivery.

Study design: Perinatal and neurodevelopmental outcome was assessed from a cohort of singleton small-for-gestational-age fetuses with normal umbilical artery Doppler and normally grown controls matched by gestational age at delivery, parity and parental socio-economic level. Neurodevelopmental outcome was prospectively evaluated by means of the 24-month Age&Stage Questionnaire (ASQ).

Results: A total of 129 small-for-gestational-age fetuses and 259 controls were included. Small-for-gestational-age fetuses had a higher risk for neonatal intensive care unit admission (15.5% versus 3.9%; p<0.001) and significant neonatal morbidity (2.3% versus 0%; p=0.04) than controls. At 24-months, these fetuses showed significantly lower neurodevelopmental centile in the problem solving (42.8 versus 52.1; p=0.001) and personal-social (44.4 versus 54.6; p<0.001) areas than controls.

Conclusion: Perinatal and neurodevelopmental outcome in small-for-gestational-age fetuses with normal umbilical artery Doppler is suboptimal, which may challenge the role of umbilical artery Doppler to discriminate between normal-SGA and growth-restricted fetuses.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child Development*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Developmental Disabilities / diagnosis
  • Developmental Disabilities / etiology*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Fetal Growth Retardation / diagnostic imaging*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Small for Gestational Age*
  • Male
  • Pregnancy
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Ultrasonography, Doppler
  • Ultrasonography, Prenatal*
  • Umbilical Arteries / diagnostic imaging*