Article Text


Effects of intrauterine growth retardation on postnatal visceral and cerebral blood flow velocity.
  1. S T Kempley,
  2. H R Gamsu,
  3. S Vyas,
  4. K Nicolaides
  1. King's College Hospital, London.


    Blood flow velocity and pulsatility index were measured with Doppler ultrasound in the superior mesenteric artery, coeliac axis, and anterior cerebral artery in 18 very low birth weight, small for gestational age infants, and compared with findings from 18 weight matched, and 18 gestation matched, appropriate for gestational age controls. Mean velocity in the superior mesenteric artery was lower in the small for gestational age infants (15 cm/s) than in the gestation matched control group (20.4 cm/s). In those small for gestational age infants who had evidence of fetal hypoxia the mean velocity in the superior mesenteric artery was even lower (11.5 cm/s). There were no differences in velocity in the cerebral artery among the groups. Infants who were small for gestational age still had significantly lower superior mesenteric artery velocity than gestation matched controls at 1 week of age. The results suggest a specific reduction in visceral perfusion in infants who are small for gestational age and who have experienced fetal hypoxia, and this could predispose these infants to necrotising enterocolitis.

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