Donald School Journal of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology

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VOLUME 8 , ISSUE 2 ( April-June, 2014 ) > List of Articles


Assessment of Cardiac Dysfunction in the Intrauterine Growth-restricted Fetuses from Pre-eclamptic Mothers

Florin Stamatian, Gabriela Caracostea

Keywords : IUGR,Cardiac,Myocardial,Echocardiography

Citation Information : Stamatian F, Caracostea G. Assessment of Cardiac Dysfunction in the Intrauterine Growth-restricted Fetuses from Pre-eclamptic Mothers. Donald School J Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol 2014; 8 (2):123-127.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10009-1346

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published Online: 01-12-2014

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2014; The Author(s).



Although it is known that cardiac parameters have abnormal values in severely affected fetuses with intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR), recent research suggested that subclinical cardiac dysfunction may be present from the early stages of fetal deterioration. The identification and monitoring of cardiac dysfunction may be relevant for the management of these cases.

Materials and methods

In this prospective observational study, we evaluated 17 IUGR fetuses from nulliparous pregnant women diagnosed with pre-eclampsia. Cardiac structural assessment was performed using segmental sequential analysis. Cardiac function was assessed by conventional echocardiography and Tissue Doppler Imaging (TDI).


Gestational age at admittance ranged between 24 and 30 weeks. A severe form of pre-eclampsia was diagnosed in 2 of 17 cases. Conventional cardiac examination showed low left and right ventricular diastolic filling with low E and A velocities, and increased myocardial performance indexes for both ventricles. Using TDI we observed decreased myocardial velocities and impaired contractility (demonstrated by low left and right diastolic velocities, as well as increased E’/A’ ratios).


Our study confirms the presence of early cardiac dysfunction in IUGR fetuses. Further studies are warranted to confirm the utility of TDI in obstetric ultrasound routine examination for monitoring fetal cardiac function in high-risk pregnancies.

How to cite this article

Caracostea G, Stamatian F. Assessment of Cardiac Dysfunction in the Intrauterine Growthrestricted Fetuses from Pre-eclamptic Mothers. Donald School J Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol 2014;8(2):123-127.

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