To evaluate whether the persistence of abnormal findings in the third trimester following increased uterine artery (UtA) resistance in the second trimester is related to adverse pregnancy outcome.
Low-risk nulliparous women with increased UtA mean pulsatility index (PI) at 20-22 weeks underwent repeat Doppler interrogation at 26-28 weeks and were divided into two groups: those with persistently abnormal Doppler and those with normalized UtA findings. Pregnancy outcome was noted for all patients and compared with that of 104 controls.
We examined 104 women with increased UtA resistance in the second trimester and in 62 (59.6%) cases the abnormal uteroplacental Doppler findings persisted to 26-28 weeks. Compared with controls and with patients with normalized Doppler at the third-trimester scan, patients with persistently abnormal Doppler results had a significantly higher risk of pre-eclampsia (10/62 vs. 1/104, P = 0.002 and 10/62 vs. 1/42, P = 0.047, respectively), small-for-gestational age (SGA) fetus (20/62 vs. 1/104, P < 0.001 and 20/62 vs. 4/42; P = 0.007, respectively) and admission of the infant to a neonatal intensive care unit (16/62 vs. 4/104; P < 0.001 and 16/62 vs. 1/42; P < 0.001, respectively). Compared with controls, cases with normalization had an increased risk of SGA (4/42 vs. 1/104, P = 0.03), but there were no significant differences for the other outcome measures.
In low-risk nulliparous women with increased UtA resistance in the second trimester, the persistence of abnormal Doppler findings at 26-28 weeks is associated with an increased risk of obstetric complications when compared with both controls and patients with third-trimester Doppler normalization.