Fetal ductus venosus, middle cerebral artery and umbilical artery flow responses to uterine contractions in growth-restricted human pregnancies.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objective To explore fetal ductus venosus (DV) flow velocity changes relative to umbilical artery (UA) blood flow and brain-sparing flow (BSF) during uterine contractions.

Methods Forty-five term fetuses suspected of having growth restriction were exposed to an oxytocin challenge test (OCT) with simultaneous Doppler velocimetry in the UA, middle cerebral artery (MCA) and DV. Basal BSF was defined as a MCA-to-UA pulsatility index (PI) ratio of < 1.08, and de novo BSF as a decrease in MCA-PI of >= 1 SD (equivalent to a value of 0.24 units) during the OCT.

Results Basal DV flow velocities were lower in the BSF group (n = 7) than they were in the non-BSF group (n = 3 8). During the OCT, D V flow velocity parameters changed in neither group but MCA-PI decreased in the non-BSF group. A crude de novo BSF was not associated with DV flow velocity changes, but when UA-PI changes were considered, a serial relationship was found between decreased UA-PI, increased DV flow velocity, and decreased MCA-PI When UA-PI increased, the MCA-PI still decreased (though not significantly) but DV flow velocity parameters remained unchanged.

Conclusions Established fetal BSF is associated with low DV flow velocities, but in an acute sequence there might be two contrasting courses along which BSF develops: one with an increase and one with a decrease in the UA vascular flow resistance. In the former situation the DV flow velocity increases, while in the latter situation the role of the DV in the acute redistribution of fetal blood flow is unclear. Copyright (c) 2007 ISUOG. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


  • Jing Fu
  • Per Olofsson
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and Medical Imaging
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)867-873
JournalUltrasound in Obstetrics & Gynecology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Publication categoryResearch