Doppler velocimetry of intraplacental fetal vessels in the second trimester: improving the prediction of pregnancy complications in high-risk patients

Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol. 1996 Oct;8(4):262-6. doi: 10.1046/j.1469-0705.1996.08040262.x.


The purpose of our study was to assess the value of fetal intraplacental velocimetry in predicting adverse pregnancy outcome in high-risk patients. Thirty-two women with pregnancies of 22 to 25 weeks' gestation were evaluated. They had demonstrated abnormal first-trimester Doppler characteristics, yet had normal second-trimester umbilical artery velocimetry. Doppler waveforms were obtained and the ratio between intraplacental and umbilical artery resistance indices was calculated. Abnormally high ratios of intraplacental to umbilical artery resistance indices were associated with a significantly higher incidence of pregnancy complications. Among women with abnormal ratios, 17 (80%) of 21 pregnancies had later complications, whereas among those with normal ratios, only two (18%) of 11 women experienced later complications. This study demonstrates that analysis of the ratio between intraplacental and umbilical artery resistance indices in the second trimester improves the diagnostic value of Doppler velocimetry in pregnancies at risk for later obstetric complications.

MeSH terms

  • Blood Flow Velocity
  • Female
  • Fetal Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Fetal Diseases / physiopathology
  • Fetus / blood supply*
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Placenta / blood supply*
  • Placenta / diagnostic imaging
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / diagnostic imaging*
  • Pregnancy Complications / physiopathology
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Pregnancy Trimester, Second*
  • Risk Factors
  • Ultrasonography, Doppler, Color / methods*
  • Ultrasonography, Prenatal / methods*
  • Umbilical Arteries / diagnostic imaging
  • Vascular Resistance