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Abnormal uterine artery Doppler velocimetry predicts adverse outcomes in patients with abnormal analytes.

  • Author(s): Roeder, Hilary A
  • Dejbakhsh, Sheila Z
  • Parast, Mana M
  • Laurent, Louise C
  • Woelkers, Douglas A
  • et al.


Our aim was to determine if uterine artery (UtA) Doppler studies would risk-stratify women with abnormal serum analytes on prenatal genetic screening into those at baseline and increased risk for preeclampsia and small-for-gestational age (SGA).

Study design

This retrospective cohort study examined outcomes of patients with ⩾one abnormal analyte (PAPP-A<0.3, hCG>3.0, AFP>2.5, inhibin>2.0, or unconjugated estriol<0.3MoM). At approximately 24weeks, we assessed UtA pulsatility index (PI).

Main outcome measures

Preeclampsia, preterm preeclampsia, SGA (birthweight (BW) <10%) and intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) (BW<3%).


We identified 132 patients with ⩾one abnormal analyte, UtA Doppler screening, and delivery outcomes. Twenty-four (18%) had an elevated UtA PI (PI>1.6); preeclampsia occurred in 16 (12%) and 26 (20%) delivered a SGA neonate. Abnormal UtA Doppler PI increased the likelihood of a composite outcome of preeclampsia or SGA from 27% to 71% (LR 6.48 (2.93, 14.30)); a negative UtA Doppler PI reduced the likelihood to 18% (LR 0.57 (0.42, 0.78)). Abnormal UtA Doppler PI increased the likelihood of a more severe composite outcome of preterm preeclampsia or IUGR from 11% to 39% (LR 5.49 (3.03, 9.97)); a negative UtA Doppler study reduced the likelihood to 4% (LR 0.35 (0.16, 0.80)).


In patients with abnormal serum analytes, abnormal UtA Doppler PI is significantly associated with preeclampsia or SGA and improves the prediction of these adverse outcomes by 9-15-fold. Providers can incorporate UtA Doppler PI into an abbreviated surveillance regimen; they can be reassured that a normal study markedly decreases the risk of a severe early adverse outcome.

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