Evaluation of the use of umbilical artery Doppler flow studies and outcome of pregnancies at a secondary hospital

J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2007 Mar;20(3):233-9. doi: 10.1080/14767050601134926.


Objective: To investigate the use of a personal computer (PC)-based, continuous-wave Doppler machine by a trained midwife at a secondary hospital to assess umbilical artery flow velocity waveforms (FVW) in referred women.

Methods: Pregnant women referred for suspected poor fetal growth were evaluated from June 2002 through December 2004. The Umbiflow apparatus, consisting of a Pentium 3 PC with an ultrasound transducer plugged into the USB port and software, was used to analyze the FVW of the umbilical artery. Pregnancies in which the resistance index (RI) was <75(th) percentile (P75) were not further evaluated for fetal well-being unless the clinical condition of the mother changed. Pregnancies with an RI >or=P75 were followed up according to a specific protocol. Primary end points were intrauterine death and intrauterine growth restriction.

Results: A total of 572 singleton pregnancies were followed up. Significantly more infants were small-for-gestational-age when the RI was >P95 (55.6%) than those between P75 and P95 (41.2%) or <P75 (27.2%). Perinatal mortality rates were 13.2, 39.1 and 41.7 for women with RIs <P75, P75-95 and >P95, respectively.

Conclusions: A normal Doppler FVW of the umbilical artery is less likely to be followed by perinatal death.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Fetal Blood / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology Department, Hospital
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / diagnosis
  • Pregnancy Outcome*
  • Referral and Consultation
  • Regional Blood Flow
  • Ultrasonography, Doppler / statistics & numerical data*
  • Ultrasonography, Prenatal / statistics & numerical data*
  • Umbilical Arteries / diagnostic imaging*
  • Umbilical Arteries / physiology*