The effects of maternal indomethacin therapy on human fetal branch pulmonary arterial vascular impedance

J. Rasanen, R. H. Debbs, D. C. Wood, S. Weiner, J. C. Huhta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Objective. To examine whether maternal indomethacin therapy affects human fetal pulmonary arterial vascular impedance without constriction of the ductus arteriosus and to determine the changes in the pulmonary arterial vascular impedance in the presence of ductal constriction. Study design. In this cross-sectional study, 52 normal fetuses without ductal constriction (Study group I) and 11 fetuses with ductal constriction (Study group II) during maternal indomethacin therapy between 24 and 34 weeks of gestation were examined by Doppler echo-cardiography. Blood velocity waveforms across the proximal right or left pulmonary artery were obtained and the pulsatility index (PI) of the proximal pulmonary arteries was calculated. Results. In the control group, the proximal pulmonary artery PI was higher (p < 0.0001) at 24-25 weeks (n = 7) (3.73 ± 0.33; mean ± SD) than at 33-34 weeks of gestation (n = 11) (2.98 ± 0.27). The PI was constantly greater (p < 0.005) in Study group I than in the control group. However, in this group the mean average weekly decrease in the PI of the proximal pulmonary arteries was similar to that in the control group. After 26 weeks of gestation, the PI values in Study group II were significantly higher than in the control group (27 weeks: 4.12 vs 3.34 (p < 0.005); 30 weeks: 4.48 vs. 3.14 (p < 0.0001); 34 weeks: 4.96 vs. 3.00 (p < 0.0001), respectively). Conclusions. Human fetal pulmonary arterial vascular impedance is increased by maternal indomethacin therapy even without ductal constriction. In the presence of ductal constriction, the magnitude of the increase in the vascular impedance is related to the gestational age.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)112-116
Number of pages5
JournalUltrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Doppler
  • Hemodynamics
  • Physiology
  • Prostaglandin inhibitors
  • Pulmonary circulation
  • Ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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