ISSN : 2146-3123
E-ISSN : 2146-3131

Harmony Behind the Trumped-Shaped Vessel: the Essential Role of the Ductus Venosus in Fetal Medicine
Şifa Turan1, Özhan M. Turan1
1Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, University of Maryland, Baltimore, USA
DOI : 10.4274/balkanmedj.2017.1389

Ductus venosus (DV) assessment gives valuable information under different fetal conditions. Fetal conditions that are affected by cardiovascular deterioration must be assessed with DV Doppler examination. This assessment not only assists in directing management but also helps to predict the perinatal outcome. Detailed evaluation of forward cardiac function using velocity ratios is used to clarify the underlying cardiovascular pathology.


The ductus venosus is a fetal vessel that functions importantly in the transfer of oxygen-and nutrient-rich blood from the umbilical vein to vital organs. Its control under active regulation and its anatomy result in a flow-velocity profile that is typically forward throughout the cardiac cycle. This forward cardiac function reflects afterload, cardiac contractility, compliance, and vascular volume changes. Ductus venosus assessment gives valuable information under different fetal conditions. For example, during first trimester screening, an abnormal ductus venosus measurement changes the screening result. Assessment of ductus venosus in twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome is an essential element of staging. In fetal growth restriction, an abnormal waveform mandates imminent delivery. In this review, we will discuss the role of ductus venosus assessment and its role in antenatal management and outcome prediction in certain fetal conditions throughout pregnancy.

Keywords : Ductus venous, Doppler, fetal growth restriction, velocity ratios, hydrops, first trimester
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