Relationship between general movements in neonates who were growth restricted in utero and prenatal Doppler flow patterns

J. C. Tanis*, D. M. Schmitz, M. R. Boelen, L. Casarella, P. P. van den Berg, C. M. Bilardo, A. F. Bos

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Objective: To investigate whether Doppler pulsatility indices (PIs) of the fetal circulation in cases of fetal growth restriction (FGR) are associated with the general movements (GMs) of the neonate after birth. Methods: This was a prospective observational cohort study including pregnancies with FGR diagnosed between June 2012 and September 2014. A diagnosis of FGR was based on an abdominal circumference or estimated fetal weight < 10th percentile (in conjuction with abnormal Doppler) or declining fetal growth of at least 30 percentiles with respect to previous size measurements. Doppler parameters of the umbilical artery (UA), fetal middle cerebral artery (MCA) and ductus venosus (DV) were measured maximally 1 week prior to delivery. Cerebroplacental ratio (CPR) was calculated as MCA-PI divided by UA-PI. We assessed the quality of neonatal GMs 7 days after birth, around the due date if cases were born preterm, and at 3 months post-term. We performed a detailed analysis of the motor repertoire by calculating a motor optimality score (MOS). Results: Forty-eight FGR cases were included with a median gestational age at delivery of 35 (range, 26–40) weeks. UA-PI, MCA-PI and CPR correlated strongly (ρ, −0.374 to 0.472; P < 0.01) with the MOS on day 7 after birth, but DV-PI did not. Doppler PI measurements did not correlate with MOS at 3 months post-term. Conclusion: Fetal arterial Doppler measurements are associated with the quality of neonatal GMs 1 week after birth, but this association is no longer evident at 3 months post-term. Brain sparing in particular is associated strongly with GMs of an abnormal quality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)772-778
Number of pages7
JournalUltrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016
Externally publishedYes

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