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The Transverse versus the Sagittal Approach in First-Trimester Uterine Artery Doppler Measurement

Authors Kongwattanakul K, Chaiyarach S, Hayakangchat S, Thepsuthammarat K

Received 25 August 2019

Accepted for publication 29 November 2019

Published 9 December 2019 Volume 2019:11 Pages 629—635

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJWH.S228619

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Elie Al-Chaer


Kiattisak Kongwattanakul,1 Sukanya Chaiyarach,1 Suppasiri Hayakangchat,1 Kaewjai Thepsuthammarat2

1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand; 2Clinical Epidemiology Unit, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand

Correspondence: Kiattisak Kongwattanakul
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen 40002, Thailand
Tel +66 43 363030
Fax +66 43 348395
Email Kiattisak@kku.ac.th

Objective: The uterine artery pulsatility index (UtA-PI) is an important marker for predicting and assessing the risk of various complications such as pre-eclampsia and fetal growth restriction. The measurement of UtA-PI in the first trimester is usually conducted via the sagittal approach. The aim of this study was to evaluate UtA Doppler measurement using the transverse approach in the first trimester.
Methods: This was a prospective observational study of 50 women with singleton pregnancy at between 11-13+6 weeks of gestation. Uterine artery (UtA) Doppler variables were measured using both the transverse and sagittal approach. The two approaches were compared in terms of time required to complete the measurements and early diastolic notch. The sample t-test and Wilcoxon rank sign test were used to analyze the outcomes when appropriate. Bland–Altman plots were used to determine the agreement between the two approaches. A P-value was considered statistically significant. Intra-class correlation (ICC) was used to evaluate the reliability of measurements.
Results: There were a total of 50 pregnant women who participated in the study and completed the study protocol. The mean age of all subjects was 29.6 years, and 24 (48%) were nulliparous. We observed no difference in terms of mean UtA-PI between the two approaches (sagittal: 2.04, transverse: 2.03; mean difference 0.01, CI −0.01, 0.04; p>0.309), nor in the means of any other UtA variables. However, there were differences between the two approaches in terms of early diastolic notch (sagittal: 11, transverse: 13; p>0.999) and the mean time required to complete the measurements (transverse: 21.7 s, sagittal: 24.3 s; p=0.001). The intra-class correlation coefficients (ICCs) were 0.985, 0.963, and 0.988 for the right, left, and mean UtA-PIs respectively.
Conclusion: The transverse approach at a bladder depth of less than 5 cm performed better than the sagittal approach in the measurement of first-trimester uterine arteries. It may, thus, may be useful as a complementary approach in cases in which there is difficulty obtaining measurements using the sagittal approach.

Keywords: uterine artery, transverse, sagittal, Doppler, pulsatility index


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