Home    Umbilical artery doppler flow patterns in high-risk pregnancy and foetal outcome in Mulago hospital

Objective: To demonstrate the flow patterns and factors associated with adverse foetal outcome in high-risk pregnancy at Mulago Hospital using Doppler ultrasound of the foetal umbilical artery. Design: Cross-sectional descriptive study. Setting: Mulago National Referral Hospital, KampalaUganda. Study Subjects: One hundred and ninety-two patients in a 4-month period (December 2008-April 2009). Results: Maternal age was 16 to 41 years. Twenty-one foetuses had abnormal flow patterns (12 had reduced end-diastolic flow, 8 had AEDF and 1 had RF). Prematurity was associated with abnormal flow patterns. 11 out of 12 foetuses with reduced end-diastolic flow survived. Of the foetuses with AEDF, 3 survived but were admitted to the neonatal special care unit while 5 died. One foetus had RF and was a stillbirth. Eighteen foetuses were delivered after an obstetric intervention. Conclusions: 1) The prevalence of abnormal flow patterns is 10.9%. 2) Abnormal flow patterns, low biophysical profile score, premature delivery, low birth weight and low Apgar score are related to adverse foetal outcome. 3) A low biophysical profile score is related to AEDF/RF. 4) Foetuses of low parity mothers are more likely to have abnormal flow patterns. Recommendation: Umbilical artery Doppler Biophysical profile scores should be done in high-risk pregnancy.

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