Objective: Doppler ultrasonographic assessment of the cerebroplacental ratio (CPR) and middle cerebral artery (MCA) is widely used as an adjunct to umbilical artery (UA) Doppler to identify fetuses at risk of adverse perinatal outcome. However, reported estimates of its accuracy vary considerably. The aim of this study was to review systematically the prognostic accuracies of CPR and MCA Doppler in predicting adverse perinatal outcome, and to compare these with UA Doppler, in order to identify whether CPR and MCA Doppler evaluation are of added value to UA Doppler. Methods: PubMed, EMBASE, the Cochrane Library and ClinicalTrials.gov were searched, from inception to June 2016, for studies on the prognostic accuracy of UA Doppler compared with CPR and/or MCA Doppler in the prediction of adverse perinatal outcome in women with a singleton pregnancy of any risk profile. Risk of bias and concerns about applicability were assessed using the QUADAS-2 (Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies-2) tool. Meta-analysis was performed for multiple adverse perinatal outcomes. Using hierarchal summary receiver–operating characteristics meta-regression models, the prognostic accuracy of CPR vs MCA Doppler was compared indirectly, and CPR and MCA Doppler vs UA Doppler compared directly. Results: The search identified 4693 articles, of which 128 studies (involving 47 748 women) were included. Risk of bias or suboptimal reporting was detected in 120/128 studies (94%) and substantial heterogeneity was found, which limited subgroup analyses for fetal growth and gestational age. A large variation was observed in reported sensitivities and specificities, and in thresholds used. CPR outperformed UA Doppler in the prediction of composite adverse outcome (as defined in the included studies) (P < 0.001) and emergency delivery for fetal distress (P = 0.003), but was comparable to UA Doppler for the other outcomes. MCA Doppler performed significantly worse than did UA Doppler in the prediction of low Apgar score (P = 0.017) and emergency delivery for fetal distress (P = 0.034). CPR outperformed MCA Doppler in the prediction of composite adverse outcome (P < 0.001) and emergency delivery for fetal distress (P = 0.013). Conclusion: Calculating the CPR with MCA Doppler can add value to UA Doppler assessment in the prediction of adverse perinatal outcome in women with a singleton pregnancy. However, it is unclear to which subgroup of pregnant women this applies. The effectiveness of the CPR in guiding clinical management needs to be evaluated in clinical trials. © 2017 The Authors. Ultrasound in Obstetrics & Gynecology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of the International Society of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology.