MEDLINE Journals

    Reference ranges for Doppler-assessed pulmonary venous blood flow velocities and pulsatility indices in normal human fetuses.

    Lenz F, Chaoui R 
    Prenat Diagn 2002 Sep; 22(9) :786-91.

    To establish reference ranges with gestation for Doppler parameters of fetal pulmonary venous blood flow during the second half of pregnancy, including not only peak velocities, but also relative indices reflecting left atrial pressure changes.In this cross-sectional study, 114 normal singleton pregnancies between 19 and 37 weeks' gestation were examined by Doppler echocardiography. In 98 fetuses, peak systolic velocity (S), peak diastolic velocity (D), end-diastolic velocity (A), and time velocity integral (TVI) were measured, and S/D ratio, pulsatility index for veins (PIV), as well as peak velocity index for veins (PVIV), were calculated. Regression analysis was used to determine reference ranges with gestation.With advancing gestation, a significant increase in S, D and A velocities as well as in TVI, was observed. Whereas the S/D ratio remained constant, PVIV and PIV decreased significantly during the second half of pregnancy.During the second half of pregnancy the increase in left atrial and ventricular compliance is reflected by the observed decrease in PIV and PVIV, which could be mainly due to the increased flow during atrial contraction. Such relative Doppler indices are better comparable than absolute values and are independent from the insonation angle. Potential clinical applications for such Doppler indices are conditions with possibly impaired left atrial function, like heart defects with left atrial obstruction or late stages of severe intrauterine growth retardation.

    Blood Flow Velocity
    Cross-Sectional Studies
    Echocardiography, Doppler, Color
    Laser-Doppler Flowmetry
    Pregnancy Trimester, Second
    Pregnancy Trimester, Third
    Pulmonary Veins
    Pulsatile Flow
    Reference Values
    Ultrasonography, Prenatal


    Pub Type(s)
    Journal Article Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
    PubMed ID


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