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INTRODUCTION: We aimed to assess if maximum velocities of the ductus venosus flow velocity waveform are associated with adverse outcomes in early-onset fetal growth restriction. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Retrospective cohort study from two tertiary referral units, including singleton fetuses with estimated birthweight or fetal abdominal circumference ≤10th centile and absent or reversed end-diastolic velocity in the umbilical artery delivered between 26+0 and 34+0  weeks of gestation. Pulsatility index for veins, and maximum velocities of S-, D-, v- and a-waves, were measured in the ductus venosus within 24 hours of birth. Logistic regression was used to describe the relationship between severe neonatal morbidity or neonatal death and clinical independent predictors. RESULTS: The study population included 132 early-onset fetal growth restriction fetuses. Newborns with neonatal morbidity or neonatal death had significantly lower values of v/D maximum velocity ratio multiples of the median (0.86 vs 095; P = 0.006) within 24 hours of birth. The v/D ratio remained a significant predictor of neonatal death or severe neonatal morbidity after adjusting for gestational age and birthweight (adjusted odds ratio 0.065, 95% confidence interval 0.004-0.957). CONCLUSIONS: Assessment of ductus venosus v/D maximum velocity ratio might help to identify fetal growth restriction fetuses at increased risk for neonatal death or severe neonatal morbidity. Confirmation in prospective studies is necessary.

Original publication




Journal article


Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand

Publication Date



Doppler ultrasound, cardiac dysfunction, ductus venosus, fetal growth restriction, intrauterine growth restriction, maximum velocities