Detection and quantitation of constriction of the fetal ductus arteriosus by Doppler echocardiography

Circulation
J C HuhtaC Martin

Abstract

Pulmonary hypertension may occur in the fetus in the presence of constriction of the ductus arteriosus. The feasibility of detection and quantitation of fetal ductal constriction by Doppler echocardiography was assessed in an animal preparation in which ductal constriction was created in the fetal lamb with a variable ligature causing varying degrees of fetal pulmonary hypertension (fetal pulmonary arterial systolic pressure 57 to 97 mm Hg and ductal gradient 9 to 42 mm Hg). Comparison of blinded, continuous-wave peak Doppler velocity (V) measurements of the ductal gradient with the modified Bernoulli assumption (gradient = 4V2) compared well with direct catheter measurements of instantaneous peak systolic gradient (r = .99, catheter = 0.95 X Doppler + 0.6), peak-to-peak gradient (r = .97), and mid-diastolic gradient (r = .85). Ductal constriction was characterized by an increase in the peak systolic and diastolic velocities. The normal human fetal ductus arteriosus blood flow velocity pattern was assessed by pulsed Doppler techniques in 25 normal human fetuses after 20 weeks gestation. The peak systolic flow velocity in the ductus arteriosus measured by image-directed pulsed Doppler echocardiography ranged from 50 to 141 cm/se...Continue Reading

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