• pregnancy outcome;
  • trisomy 21;
  • ultrasound;
  • umbilical cord;
  • varix



Fetal intra-abdominal umbilical vein (FIUV) varix is a focal dilatation of the intra-abdominal portion of the umbilical vein, which has been reported to be associated with intrauterine death and other anomalies. Our aim was to examine our experience with this diagnosis at a single tertiary-care center and to correlate it with clinical outcome.


This was a retrospective case series study. Our ultrasound database was searched for all cases with a diagnosis of FIUV varix identified at our facility between 1997 and 2007. We reviewed all ultrasound examinations, maternal antenatal records, delivery records and newborns' medical records.


We identified 52 cases of FIUV among a population of approximately 68 000. Three cases of trisomy 21 were identified, all of which were accompanied by other anomalies. There was intrauterine death of one fetus with trisomy 21 at 35 weeks of gestation. We did not find an association between FIUV varix and other obstetric complications.


The outcome of pregnancies with FIUV varix is generally favorable. The finding of a FIUV varix should prompt the search for other anomalies, especially markers of aneuploidy. Copyright © 2008 ISUOG. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.