Three-dimensional Doppler ultrasonography for the assessment of fetal liver vascularization in fetuses with intrauterine growth restriction

Saulo Molina Giraldo, Diana A Alfonso Ayala, Mortimer Arreaza Graterol, Jose L Perez Olivo, Armicson F Solano Montero
International Journal of Gynaecology and Obstetrics 2019, 144 (3): 260-264

OBJECTIVE: To demonstrate changes in hepatic volume and vascular indices in fetuses with intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) compared with normal-growth fetuses, using a noninvasive method (three-dimensional power Doppler ultrasound).

METHODS: The present cross-sectional study was conducted between September 1 and November 30, 2014, at a maternal-fetal medicine unit in Bogotá, Colombia; it included consecutive women at 24-34 weeks of pregnancy. The fetal liver volume and indices of hepatic vascularization were determined with three-dimensional power Doppler ultrasonography and compared between fetuses with and without a diagnosis of IUGR. Results A total of 119 women met study inclusion criteria; 97 fetuses had no growth restriction, whereas 22 fetuses had IUGR. The latter group had decreased liver volume (57.85 ± 29.71 mL vs 86.99 ± 31.24 mL; P=0.010) and increased vascular indices (vascularization index, 47.92 ± 34.44 versus 22.46 ± 18.95; flow index, 71.39 ± 42.01 versus 41.11 ± 23.24; vascularization flow index, 47.94 ± 47.96 versus 13.67 ± 22.38; P=0.003 for all comparisons).

CONCLUSION: Liver volume was decreased and liver vascular indices values were increased in fetuses with IUGR. These findings imply that evaluation of hepatic vascularization with three-dimensional hepatic Doppler could be useful in the diagnosis of IUGR.

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