Fetal hemodynamic development in macrosomic growth

Authors

  • C. Ebbing,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Haukeland University Hospital, Bergen, Norway and Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Bergen, Norway
    • Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Haukeland University Hospital, N-5021 Bergen, Norway
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  • S. Rasmussen,

    1. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Haukeland University Hospital, Bergen, Norway and Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Bergen, Norway
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  • T. Kiserud

    1. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Haukeland University Hospital, Bergen, Norway and Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Bergen, Norway
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Abstract

Objective

To determine the venous and arterial hemodynamics underlying macrosomic fetal growth.

Methods

Fifty-eight healthy women who previously had given birth to a large neonate were included in a prospective longitudinal study. Of these, 29 gave birth to neonates with birth weight ≥ 90th percentile and were included in the statistical analysis. Umbilical vein blood flow and Doppler measurements of the ductus venosus, left portal vein and the hepatic, splenic, superior mesenteric, cerebral and umbilical arteries were repeated at 3–5 examinations during the second half of pregnancy and compared with the corresponding reference values. Ultrasound biometry was used to estimate fetal weight.

Results

Umbilical blood flow increased faster in macrosomic fetuses, showed less blunting near term and was also significantly higher when normalized for estimated fetal weight (P < 0.0001). The portocaval perfusion pressure of the liver (expressed by the ductus venosus systolic blood velocity) and the left portal vein blood velocity (expressing umbilical venous distribution to the right liver lobe) were significantly higher. Systolic velocity was higher in the splenic, superior mesenteric, cerebral and umbilical arteries, while the pulsatility index was unaltered in the cerebral, hepatic, splenic and mesenteric arteries, but lower in the umbilical artery.

Conclusions

There is an augmented umbilical flow in macrosomic fetuses particularly near term, also when normalized for estimated fetal weight, providing increased liver perfusion, including the right liver lobe. Signs of increased vascular cross section and flow are also seen on the arterial side but not expressed in the pulsatility index of organs with prominent auto-regulation (i.e. brain, liver, spleen and gut). Copyright © 2011 ISUOG. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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