Aortic, pulmonary, and ductal peak velocities in symmetrical and asymmetrical fetal growth retardation: A different adaptation to placental insufficiency

M. Bellotti, E. Ferrazzi, A. Barbera, G. D'Orta, G. Pardi, K. L. Thornburg

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    Objective: The objective of this study was to investigate the peak velocities of the outflow tract of the great vessels in symmetrical and asymmetrical growth-retarded fetuses. Methods: Aortic, pulmonary artery, and ductal peak velocities and the pulsatility index (PI) of the umbilical artery and of the middle cerebral artery (MCA) were measured by Doppler velocimetry in 31 symmetrically and 48 asymmetrically growth-retarded fetuses within 3 days before delivery. Results: In the symmetrical intrauterine growth retarded (IUGR) fetuses, the peak velocities were not significantly lower than in normal fetuses of comparable weight. In the asymmetrical IUGR fetuses, peak velocities were significantly lower than in normal fetuses (aorta, P < 0.001; pulmonary artery, P < 0.03; ductus arteriosus, P < 0.003). The PI of the MCA in the asymmetrical IUGR fetuses was significantly lower than that in the symmetrical IUGR fetuses. Twenty of 37 elective cesarean sections were performed for fetal distress in the asymmetrical group. Intrauterine deaths occurred only in the asymmetrical group with abnormal peak velocities. Conclusion: This study presents evidence that, in asymmetrical IUGR fetuses, the long-standing flow redistribution is associated with a significantly higher risk of impaired ejection velocities from the left and right ventricles and intrauterine distress.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)35-39
    Number of pages5
    JournalJournal of Maternal-Fetal Investigation
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - Mar 19 1996



    • Doppler ultrasonography
    • Echocardiography
    • Fetal heart
    • Intrauterine growth retardation

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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