Assessment of fetal liver volume and umbilical venous volume flow in pregnancies complicated by insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus

Simona M. Boito, Piet C. Struijk, Nicolette T C Ursem, Theo Stijnen, Juriy W. Wladimiroff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: To determine fetal liver volume and its relation with umbilical venous volume flow and maternal glycosylated haemoglobin (HbA1c) in pregnancies complicated by diabetes mellitus type I. Design: A cross sectional matched control study. Setting: Obstetric out patient clinic, Erasmus MC - University Medical Centre, Rotterdam. Population: Data from fetuses of diabetic women (n = 32; 18-36 weeks) were compared with data from normal controls (n = 32) matched for gestational age. Methods: Umbilical venous cross sectional area (mm2) and time-averaged velocity (mm/s Doppler) were determined for calculation of volume flow (mL/min) and flow per kilogram fetal weight (mL/min/kg). Umbilical artery pulsatility index was determined. Fetal liver volume measurements were obtained using a Voluson 530-D. Main outcome measures: Fetal liver volume, umbilical venous volume flow and downstream impedance. Results: A statistically significant difference between fetuses of diabetic women and normal controls was found for liver volume (mean [SD]: 45.9 [34.0] vs 38.3 [28.7] mL), abdominal circumference (22.2 [6.6] vs 21.3 [5.6] cm), estimated fetal weight (1162 [898] vs 1049 [765] g) and fetoplacental weight ratio (0.22 vs 0.19) and liver volume/estimated fetal weight ratio (4.13% [0.007] vs 3.62% [0.009]). Umbilical venous volume flow (mL/min) and umbilical artery pulsatility index were not essentially different between the two study groups, but umbilical venous volume flow per kilogram fetal weight was lower (P <0.05) in the diabetes group (94.3 [26.1] mL/min/kg) compared with normal controls (109.5 [28.0] mL/min kg). A positive correlation existed between fetal liver volume and maternal HbA1c (P = 0.002). Conclusions: Measurement of fetal liver volume by three-dimensional ultrasound may play a role in identifying fetal growth acceleration in diabetic pregnancies. Fetal liver volume increase is positively related to maternal HbA1c levels reflecting degree of maternal glycemic control. Fetal liver volume normalised for estimated fetal weight is significantly higher in the fetuses of diabetic women. In the present study, umbilical venous volume flow and fetoplacental downstream impedance are not different between diabetic and normal pregnancies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1007-1013
Number of pages7
JournalBJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology


Dive into the research topics of 'Assessment of fetal liver volume and umbilical venous volume flow in pregnancies complicated by insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this