Ductus venosus blood flow resistance and congenital heart defects in the second trimester

Jeng Hsiu Hung, Yau Fu Chong, Jen Her Lu, Chia Yi Selena Hung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose. To study the association between fetal cardiac defects and the presence of abnormal blood flow resistance of the ductus venosus during the second trimester of pregnancy. Methods. This retrospective case-control study included 72 pregnancies with fetal cardiac anomalies and 267 normal pregnancies. In fetuses with cardiac anomalies, Doppler velocimetry resistances of the ductus venosus were serially determined prior to birth. The Doppler velocimetry resistances obtained from fetuses with cardiac anomalies were in turn compared with median values derived from 267 normal pregnancies to compensate for biometric bias due to gestational age. Results. Among the 72 pregnancies with fetal cardiac anomalies, 26 fetuses showed isolated congenital heart disease (CHD) without nonimmune fetal hydrops (NIFH) (group A), 10 fetuses showed isolated CHD with severe heart defects, including atrioventricular valve insufficiency and consecutive cardiogenic NIHF (group B), and 36 fetuses showed chromosomal abnormalities, nonchromosomal extracardiac malformations, noncardiogenic NIHF, and fetal growth restriction summarized as nonisolated CHD (group C). Based on the pulsatility index for the vein of the ductus venosus, the area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves was 0.71, 0.73, and 0.86 for groups A, B, and C, respectively. Conclusion. In the 36 fetuses from group C, increased pulsatility index for vein of the ductus venosus (DVPIV) yielded a significant area under the ROC curve (0.86) with a sensitivity of 0.78 and a specificity of 0.78. Increased DVPIVs during the second trimester of pregnancy are highly correlated with fetal cardiac anomalies associated with chromosomal and extracardiac anomalies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)72-78
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical Ultrasound
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Ductus venosus pulsatility index for the vein
  • Fetal cardiac anomalies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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