Umbilical artery Doppler velocimetry in the prediction of intrapartum fetal compromise

Howarth G.R. ; Pattinson R.C. ; Kirsten G. ; Truter H. ; Odendaal H.J. (1992)


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The value of early intrapartum umbilical artery Doppler velocimetry in the prediction of fetal compromise was studied. One hundred patients were recruited into the study and fetal compromise was diagnosed by abnormal first- or second-stage fetal heart rate traces, a 5-minute Apgar score less than 7, or the development of hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy. Fetal compromise developed in 30 patients. An umbilical artery resistance index (RI) of 0,66 or less did not predict fetal compromise (sensitivity 13%, specificity 89%, positive predictive value 25%, negative predictive value 70%). Since the mean umbilical artery RI was identical in the compromised and the noncompromised groups, we conclude that early intrapartum Doppler velocimetry is of very little clinical value in predicting fetal compromise at term.

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