Doppler ultrasound performed in early pregnancy can accurately identify embryonic congestive heart failure and subsequent risk of miscarriage, according to research being presented today at the 89th Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).
"The chances the pregnancy will continue are very high, about 95 percent, when Doppler ultrasound confirms normal embryonic heart function at six weeks," said the studys author Jason C. Birnholz, M.D., president of Diagnostic Ultrasound Consultants in Oak Brook, Ill. "Over 99 percent of pregnancies with an abnormal Doppler pattern do not continue." The Doppler test measures the speed of red blood cells moving through vessels to determine pressure dynamics within the embryos heart.
Miscarriage is the most common complication of human gestation, occurring in approximately 20 percent of recognized pregnancies, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.
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