Assessing vascular characteristics of the fetal descending aorta: A feasibility study

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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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)211-215
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Clinical Ultrasound
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 1 2020

Bibliographical note

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© 2020 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


  • abdominal aorta
  • compliance
  • distensibility
  • elasticity
  • fetus
  • maternal diabetes
  • ultrasonography


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