Objective: Doppler ultrasound has been used to study the flow velocities through the valves and arteries of the fetal heart. Using transvaginal sonography, we sought to determine normal values for flow velocities through the fetal heart valves at 14-16 weeks of gestation. Methods: Eighty-seven normal fetuses were examined. The flow velocity waveforms were visualized using Doppler ultrasound with the sample volume calipers placed just distally to the four fetal valves. Peak E- and A-wave velocities were recorded for the tricuspid and mitral valves and peak systolic flow velocities were recorded for the ascending aorta and pulmonary arteries. Linear regression for comparison of flow velocities with gestational age was performed. Results: There was no significant correlation between any of the velocities and gestational age. Conclusions: Flow velocities through the fetal cardiac valves remain unchanged at 14-16 weeks of gestation as measured by transvaginal Doppler sonography.
- Flow velocity waveforms
- Transvaginal sonography