Abnormal umbilical artery flow velocity waveform--a sign of fetal narcotic withdrawal?

Aust N Z J Obstet Gynaecol. 1997 Aug;37(3):358-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1479-828x.1997.tb02432.x.


We present a case of a heroin addict in whom Doppler flow study on the umbilical artery showed absent end diastolic flow at 29 weeks' gestation by ultrasound. Following methadone administration, the mother's withdrawal symptoms were controlled, the fetal diastolic flow returned, and there was a normal systolic/diastolic ratio. Delivery at 32 weeks' gestation by ultrasound resulted in a surviving infant who required treatment with phenobarbitone and morphine after birth to control withdrawal symptoms.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Flow Velocity / drug effects
  • Blood Flow Velocity / physiology
  • Cesarean Section
  • Female
  • Fetal Growth Retardation / diagnostic imaging
  • Fetal Monitoring
  • Heart Rate, Fetal / drug effects
  • Heart Rate, Fetal / physiology
  • Heroin Dependence / diagnostic imaging*
  • Heroin Dependence / rehabilitation
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Methadone / therapeutic use
  • Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome / diagnostic imaging*
  • Pregnancy
  • Substance Abuse, Intravenous / diagnostic imaging*
  • Substance Abuse, Intravenous / rehabilitation
  • Ultrasonography, Prenatal*
  • Umbilical Arteries / diagnostic imaging*


  • Methadone