Preeclampsia and fetal growth restriction are major causes of perinatal mortality and morbidity. Several studies have shown that a generalized endothelial dysfunction is associated with these complications. Clinical trials have shown that pregnant women who demonstrate high resistance in uteroplacental blood flow are at higher risk for preeclampsia. Uterine artery Doppler studies both in the second and the first trimester can predict pregnancies at increased risk of the complications of impaired placentation. The sensitivity for predicting severe preeclampsia ranges between 80 and 90% for a false positive rate of 5 to 7%. Uterine artery Doppler screening at 20 to 24 weeks’ gestation is superior to first trimester screening, and appears to fulfill the requirements for a worthwhile screening test. Further research is needed to better assess the value of various combinations of uterine artery Doppler and maternal serum markers, for the prediction of adverse pregnancy outcome.
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