Changes in intracardiac Doppler blood flow velocities in fetuses with absent umbilical artery diastolic flow

Kathryn L. Reed, Caroline F. Anderson, Lewis Shenker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Scopus citations


Umbilical artery Doppler blood flow velocity studies were used to identify 14 fetuses with absent flow during diastole to determine the significance of absent umbilical artery diastolic flow. Outcomes of these fetuses were recorded, and the associated intracardiac Doppler changes were identified in 12 of them. Maximal and mean intracardiac flow velocities were measured, and volume flows through the right (tricuspid valve, pulmonary valve) and left (mitral valve, aortic valve) sides of the heart were compared. Ratios of intracardiac peak flow velocity in late diastole to peak flow velocity in early diastole were calculated. Eleven fetuses had intrauterine growth retardation, and four had multiple congenital anomalies. Fetuses with no diastolic flow in the umbilical artery had increased volume flow across the tricuspid and pulmonary valves compared with normal fetuses of similar weights. The ratio of right-sided to left-sided volume flow in the heart (2.15:1) was increased compared with values in normal fetuses (1.33:1, p < 0.01). The ratio of late diastolic to early diastolic peak flow velocities across the mitral valve was decreased (p < 0.01). Absent umbilical artery diastolic flow is associated with increased tricuspid and pulmonary valve volume flow and changes in mitral flow velocity patterns, which suggests that there are alterations in left ventricular function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)774-779
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican journal of obstetrics and gynecology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1987
Externally publishedYes


  • Doppler
  • Fetal heart

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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