Association between uterine artery Doppler blood flow changes and arterial wall elasticity in pregnant women

Emma von Wowern, Jakob Andersson, Ida Dalene Skarping, Maria Teresa Howie, Per Olofsson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Uterine artery (UtA) Doppler velocimetry changes and increased arterial stiffness are associated with preeclampsia. We aimed to investigate the relation between UtA velocimetry changes and arterial stiffness in pregnant women. Methods: Doppler velocimetry and photoplethysmographic digital pulse wave analysis (DPA) were performed in 173 pregnant women in the second or the third trimester, where UtA Doppler pulsatility index (PI), diastolic notching, and UtA score (UAS) combining notching and high PI were calculated. DPA stiffness parameters representing large arteries were ejection elasticity index (EEI) and b/a, small arteries dicrotic index (DI) and d/a, and global stiffness the aging index (AI). Results: One hundred and thirty women had normal Doppler and 43 had diastolic notching, of whom nine had high PI. DI indicated increased stiffness in small arteries when notching was present (p = 0.044) and showed a significant but weak correlation to UAS (p = 0.025, tau 0.12). EEI and b/a indicated increased large artery stiffness (p ≤0.014), d/a small artery stiffness (p = 0.023), and AI a systemic stiffness (p = 0.040) when high PI. Conclusion: High UtA PI was associated with increased systemic arterial stiffness, whereas notching was related to increased stiffness in small arteries only. This indicates pathophysiological differences between the two Doppler parameters.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2309-2314
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine
Issue number19
Early online date2016 Oct 27
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine

Free keywords

  • Arterial stiffness
  • diastolic notching
  • photoplethysmography
  • pregnancy
  • pulsatility index


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