Introduction: Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) is a major clinical issue for pregnant women. The purpose of this study was to evaluate color Doppler indices of the proximal and distal parts of the middle cerebral artery (MCA) of the fetus. 

Methods: In this cross-sectional study, 350 pregnant patients, with gestation age of 32-40 who were suspected to have intrauterine growth restriction, participated. The patients were referred for color Doppler sonography at the Imam Reza Hospital (Kermanshah, Iran) from May 2011 to September 2012. The following indices were measured for the proximal and distal part of the MCA: pulsatility index (PI), resistive index (RI), fetal heart rate (FHR), systolic to diastolic (S/D) ratio, and peak systolic velocity (PSV). The data were analyzed applying Tukey's-test, Paired-Samples t-test, and simple linear regression analysis using SPSS 19. 

Results: Average age of the mother, the frequency of pregnancy, and fetus gestational age were 27.79±0.17 years, 2.09±1.3, and 34.19±2.52 weeks, respectively. For gestation age of <36weeks, all Doppler indices of the distal part of the fetus MCA were significantly different from those of proximal part (p<0.05). Comparing indices of gestation age <36 weeks with those of >36 weeks, significant difference was found between the Doppler indices of the proximal parts as well as for the distal parts (p<0.05).

Conclusion: Measurement of fetus MCA indices may depend to the sampling location; however, this needs further investigation in order to find a clear probe location.


Keywords: Color Doppler, Intrauterine growth restriction, Middle cerebral artery, Pulse index, Resistance index
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