Author(s): De Carolis S, Botta A, Garofalo S, Ferrazzani S, Martino C
In pregnant women, antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) is associated with an increased risk for preeclampsia, fetal intrauterine growth restriction, and other complications related to uteroplacental insufficiency. In normal pregnancy, impedance to flow in the uterine arteries decreases with gestation, as the likely consequence of the physiologic change of spiral arteries into low-resistance vessels. The presence of antiphospholipid antibodies can impair this vascular adaptation, resulting in a reduced placental perfusion. Doppler investigation provides a noninvasive method for the study of uteroplacental blood flow. Several studies were performed to detect the predictive role of uterine artery Doppler velocimetry in relation to pregnancy outcome in APS patients. In some studies, a high resistance index in the uterine arteries strongly predicted the subsequent development of obstetric complications. In other studies, persistent bilateral uterine artery notches identified the risk of preeclampsia and fetal intrauterine growth restriction. To date, the uterine artery Doppler velocimetry resulted to be a useful tool for identifying APS pregnancies at risk for adverse pregnancy outcome. These findings might have important implications for the management of these patients.