East African Medical Journal

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Biophysical profile scores and resistance indices of the umbilical artery as seen in patients with pregnancy induced hypertension

SW Nguku, J Wanjoike-Gichuhi, AA Aywak


Objective: The role of Biophysical Profile Score and resistive index of the umbilical artery for monitoring pre-eclampsia patients. Design: Descriptive prospective study.

Setting: Kenyatta National Hospital and Mater Hospital, Nairobi, Kenya.

Subjects: One hundred and ten cases during a three month period.

Results: Normal biophysical profile scores were found in 93 (84.5%), and 17 (17.5%) cases had abnormal scores ranging from mild to severe foetal distress. Resistive index of umbilical artery (RI-UA) were normal in 72 (66.1%) and high resistive index accounted for 33.9%. Intra-Uterine Growth Restriction (IUGR) was a prominent finding accounting for 30.5%. A positive relationship was shown to exist between IUGR and RI-UA and also with severity of hypertension with Pvalues < 0.05. Resistive index of umbilical artery was positively related to the duration of illness confirming its dependence on chronicity (P = 0.004). Resistive index of umbilical artery proved to be an earlier indicator of foetal compromise before any foetal distress becomes obvious.

Conclusion: Regular obstetrical ultra sound foetal surveillance in pre-eclampsia patients is important for foetal wellbeing. Doppler evaluation of high risk patients is more sensitive test than the biophysical profile score.

East African Medical Journal Vol. 83(3) 2006: 96-101
AJOL African Journals Online