Objective: To determine the relationship between umbilical venous (UV) volume flow and fetal behavioral states 1F (quiet sleep) and 2F (active sleep) in normal pregnancies at 36-40 weeks of gestation. Methods: Fetal behavioral states were established in 17 normal pregnancies by means of combined assessment of fetal heart rate patterns (FHRP), and fetal eye and body movements. UV vessel area (mm 2) as obtained by tracing the inner vessel area using Labview and Imaq Vision software and UV time-averaged flow velocity (mm/s Doppler) were multiplied to calculate UV volume flow (mL/min) including flow/kg fetus. The pulsatility index (PI) in the umbilical artery was also determined. In each woman, all parameters were measured between three and five times in each behavioral state. Data are reported as mean ± 1 SD and analyzed by paired t-test. Results: No statistically significant behavioral-state-related changes were observed for UV time-averaged velocity and UV volume flow, resulting in UV volume flow/kg fetus of 69.1 ± 14.9 mL/min*kg at 1F and 71.6 ± 12.1 mL/min*kg at 2F (not significant). A statistically significant increase (P = 0.02) was established for UV cross-sectional area (46.4 ± 8.6 mm 2 vs. 49.0 ± 10.1 mm 2) and for fetal heart rate (FHR) from 134.2 ± 10.3 bpm in 1F to 144.2 ± 7 bpm in 2F. Umbilical artery PI was not significantly different between the two behavioral states. Conclusions: On the basis of high venous vessel wall compliance, the significant increase in UV cross-sectional area during fetal behavioral state 2F may be determined by a rise in mean venous pressure. The significant rise in FHR may reflect increased fetal cardiac output during state 2F while the resistance at the hepato-ductal pathway remains relatively constant with the purpose of meeting raised energy demands during the active sleep state. This is further supported by the observed trend towards an increase in UV volume flow. Copyright

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doi.org/10.1002/uog.956, hdl.handle.net/1765/63682
Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Department of Gynaecology & Obstetrics