Aortic vessel wall characteristics and blood pressure in children with intrauterine growth retardation and abnormal foetal aortic blood flow

Acta Paediatr. 1997 Mar;86(3):299-305. doi: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.1997.tb08894.x.


Blood pressure and pulsatile diameter changes of the abdominal aorta were measured in 68 children (mean age 9 years), with varying degrees of intrauterine growth retardation who were previously examined in their intrauterine life with Doppler velocimetry of the thoracic descending aorta. Diastolic blood pressure was lower (p < 0.05) and pulse pressure was increased (p < 0.01) in children with a birthweight small for gestational age as compared to those with a birthweight appropriate for gestational age. Systolic blood pressure was positively associated with relative increase in weight from birth up to the time of examination (p < 0.01), but not to early catch-up growth. Aortic vessel wall diameters were smaller in children born small for gestational age, both before and after correction for current body surface area (p < 0.01). Blood pressure and aortic vessel wall characteristics exhibited no relationship to the foetal aortic Doppler wave-form. Changes in foetal haemodynamics associated with intrauterine growth retardation do not appear to contribute to a later increase in blood pressure. Within a group of foetuses with suspected growth retardation, increasing foetal weight deviation and a birthweight small for gestational age is associated with lower diastolic blood pressure at 9 years of age.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Anthropometry
  • Aorta, Abdominal / embryology*
  • Aorta, Abdominal / physiology*
  • Blood Flow Velocity*
  • Blood Pressure*
  • Body Weight
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Fetal Growth Retardation / diagnosis*
  • Gestational Age
  • Hemodynamics
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Prospective Studies
  • Social Class