Department of Pediatrics, McMaster University, Canada
Address for correspondence: Dr. Tapas Mondal, Department of Pediatrics, 1280 Main Street, Hamilton, ON, Canada. Tel.: +1 905 521 2100/EXT. 75259/75264; Fax: +1 905 521 7914; E-mail: [email protected].
Abstract: Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) is a condition which has been difficult to assess at an early stage, resulting in the delivery of children who have poor genetic growth potential. Currently, IUGR classification is based upon the system of ultrasound biometry. Doppler velocimetry allows the measurement of hemodynamic flow of major fetal vessels, comparing the flow indices and patterns of normal and IUGR cases. In this review, the effectiveness of Doppler velocimetry in assessing blood flow in major vessels including the umbilical artery, ductus venosus, and middle cerebral artery was studied for both diagnostic and prognostic screening of IUGR. The umbilical artery is the most frequently studied vessel in Doppler velocimetry due to its accessibility and the strength of its associations with fetal outcomes. Abnormalities in the ductus venosus waveform can be indicative of increased resistance in the right atrium due to placental abnormalities. The middle cerebral artery is the most studied fetal cerebral artery and can detect cerebral blood flow and direction, which is why these three vessels were selected to be examined in this context. A potential mathematical model could be developed to incorporate these Doppler measurements which are indicative of IUGR, in order to reduce perinatal mortality. The purpose of the proposed algorithm is to integrate Doppler velocimetry with biophysical profiling in order to determine the optimal timing of delivery, thus reducing the risks of adverse perinatal outcomes.