In this study, a new 3-D Virtual Reality (3D VR) technique for examining placental and uterine vasculature was investigated. The validity of placental bed vascular volume (PBVV) and fetal vascular volume (FVV) measurements was assessed and associations of PBVV and FVV with embryonic volume, crown-rump length, fetal birth weight and maternal parity were investigated. One hundred thirty-two patients were included in this study, and measurements were performed in 100 patients. Using V-Scope software, 100 3-D Power Doppler data sets of 100 pregnancies at 12 wk of gestation were analyzed with 3D VR in the I-Space Virtual Reality system. Volume measurements were performed with semi-automatic, pre-defined parameters. The inter-observer and intra-observer agreement was excellent with all intra-class correlation coefficients >0.93. PBVVs of multiparous women were significantly larger than the PBVVs of primiparous women (p = 0.008). In this study, no other associations were found. In conclusion, V-Scope offers a reproducible method for measuring PBVV and FVV at 12 wk of gestation, although we are unsure whether the volume measured represents the true volume of the vasculature. Maternal parity influences PBVV.

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Keywords 3-D Power Doppler ultrasonography, Barco I-Space, Placental bed vascular volume, Placental vascularization, Virtual Reality
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Journal Ultrasound in Medicine & Biology
Reus, A.D, Klop-van der Aa, J, Rifouna, M.S, Koning, A.H.J, Exalto, N, van der Spek, P.J, & Steegers, E.A.P. (2014). Early pregnancy placental bed and fetal vascular volume measurements using 3-D virtual reality. Ultrasound in Medicine & Biology, 40(8), 1796–1803. doi:10.1016/j.ultrasmedbio.2014.02.022