Increased placental resistance and late decelerations associated with severe proteinuric hypertension predicts poor fetal outcome
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The flow velocity wave forms generated by Doppler ultrasound examination of the umbilical artery were correlated with feto-placental blood flow and numerically expressed as a ratio between the systolic (A) and the end-diastolic point (B). The technique is non-invasive and simple to perform. A cohort analytical study was done to see whether useful information could be obtained from the A/B ratio that could help in the management of patients with severe proteinuric hypertension. Fifty patients with severe proteinuric hypertension at less than 34 weeks' gestation were studied and serial Doppler ultrasound examinations of the umbilical artery were performed. No ultrasound results were made available to the clinician. An A/B ratio of 6 or greater was regarded as increased. Twenty-eight of the patients had an increased A/B ratio; in this group these 14 infants were small for gestational age, 14 developed late decelerations and there were 12 perinatal deaths. The remaining 22 patients had an A/B ratio of less than 6 and only 3 produced infants which were small for gestational age; 2 fetuses developed late decelerations and there was 1 perinatal death. A significant difference was found between the two groups in respect of these results. The group with an abnormal A/B ratio also experienced more neonatal morbidity. The A/B ratio of the umbilical artery wave form may assist in planning delivery of patients with severe proteinuric hypertension more accurately.
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