Uterine artery Doppler in the prediction of adverse pregnancy outcome.
Papageorghiou AT., Leslie K.
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: To review publications, published during the past year, that have examined uterine artery Doppler findings in women with adverse pregnancy outcome. RECENT FINDINGS: Almost two-thirds of stillbirths that occur in the early preterm period (up to 32 weeks) can be predicted by uterine artery Doppler at 23 weeks. First trimester screening studies have shown that an abnormal result increases the risk of subsequent fetal growth restriction, and such women are at particularly high risk when indices remain abnormal in the second trimester. Studies combining uterine artery Doppler with maternal serum markers have demonstrated that measurement of first-trimester maternal serum pregnancy-associated plasma protein A and free beta human chorionic gonadotrophin improve sensitivities of second-trimester Doppler. As these are frequently measured in Down syndrome screening and they lend themselves in screening for pre-eclampsia. Women with abnormal first and second-trimester serum markers constitute a high-risk group. Maternal serum placental protein 13 remains a promising method for early screening, although a recent study suggests lower sensitivities than initially reported. SUMMARY: Uterine artery Doppler screening identifies women at high risk for developing adverse pregnancy outcomes. Detection rates may be increased and false positive rates reduced by combination with maternal characteristics or serum markers.