Research describing fetal arterial structure and function is lacking within the literature. This study's purpose was to measure intima-media thickness (IMT), compliance and distensibility of 24- to 25-week fetuses' abdominal aortas using conventional ultrasonography from 16 diabetic (DM) and 25 non-diabetic mothers (NDM). We found no significant differences in fetal abdominal aorta IMT (P =.68), diameter distensibility (P =.22), or cross-sectional distensibility (P =.23). However, both fetal abdominal aortic diameter compliance (P =.03) and cross-sectional compliance (P =.005) were greater in DM than in NDM (P =.005). This study demonstrates that it is possible and potentially useful to measure fetal abdominal aorta biometrics and biomechanical characteristics.
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- abdominal aorta
- maternal diabetes