Cardiovascular hemodynamics and umbilical artery N-terminal peptide of proB-type natriuretic peptide in human fetuses with growth restriction

A. Girsen, M. Ala-Kopsala, K. Mäkikallio, O. Vuolteenaho, J. Räsänen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


Objective: To test our hypothesis that human fetal N-terminal peptide of proB-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) secretion is increased in proportion to the severity of fetal cardiovascular compromise in intrauterine growth restriction. Methods: This prospective cross-sectional study consisted of 42 growth-restricted fetuses who underwent Doppler ultrasonographic examination of cardiovascular hemodynamics within 7 days before delivery. Group 1 fetuses (n = 13) had normal umbilical artery (UA) velocimetry. Group 2 fetuses (n= 15) had abnormal UA and normal ductus venosus (DV) velocimetry. In Group 3 fetuses (n = 14), both UA and DV velocimetries were abnormal. At delivery, an UA blood sample was obtained for assessment of NT-proBNP. Normal values for UA NT-proBNP were determined in 49 neonates (control group) with uncomplicated pregnancy and delivery. Results: Group 3 fetuses demonstrated greater (P < 0.05) UA and descending aorta pulsatility indices (PIs) and greater DV, left hepatic vein (LHV) and inferior vena cava PIs for veins (PIVs) than fetuses in Groups 1 and 2. Weight-indexed cardiac outputs and ventricular ejection forces were similar among the groups. Group 3 fetuses had higher (P < 0.05) UA NT-proBNP concentration than fetuses in Groups 1 and 2. In the control group, the 95 th percentile value of UA NT-proBNP was 518 pmol/L. In Group 3, 13/14 neonates demonstrated abnormal UA NT-proBNP levels. The corresponding incidences were 4/13 and 7115 in Groups 1 and 2. Significant positive correlations were found between UA, DV and LHV PIVs and UA NT-proBNP concentrations. Conclusion: In human fetal growth restriction, increased cardiac afterload and pulsatility in DV blood velocity waveform pattern are associated with elevated UA NT-proBNP concentrations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)296-303
Number of pages8
JournalUltrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Fetal echocardiography
  • Heart failure
  • Natriuretic peptides
  • Physiology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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