Fetoplacental biometry and umbilical artery Doppler velocimetry in the overnourished adolescent model of fetal growth restriction

David J. Carr, Raymond Aitken, John Milne, Anna L. David, Jacqueline Wallace

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To evaluate ultrasonographically fetal growth trajectories, placental biometry and umbilical artery (UA) Dopplers in growth-restricted pregnancies of overnourished adolescent ewes and normally-developing pregnancies of control-fed ewes.

Study Design
Singleton pregnancies were established using embryo transfer in 42 adolescent ewes, which were overnourished (n=27) or control-fed (n=15), scanned at weekly intervals from 83–126d and necropsied at 131d gestation (term=145d).

Ultrasonographic placental measurements were reduced and UA Doppler indices increased from 83d, whilst measurements of fetal abdominal circumference and femur length, renal volume and tibia length, and biparietal diameter were reduced from 98d, 105d and 112d, respectively, in overnourished versus control-intake pregnancies.

Overnourishment of adolescent sheep dams produced late-onset asymmetrical fetal growth restriction, commensurate with brain sparing. Ultrasonographic placental biometry was already reduced and UA Doppler indices increased by mid-gestation in overnourished pregnancies, preceding reduced fetal growth velocity and indicative of an early nutritionally-mediated insult on placental development.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1410.e6-141.e15
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number2
Early online date14 May 2012
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2012



  • fetal growth restriction
  • placental biometry
  • umbilical artery Doppler
  • adolescent sheep
  • ultrasound

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