Varix of the fetal intra-abdominal umbilical vein: Comparison with normal

B. S. Mahony, J. P. McGahan, D. A. Nyberg, D. P. Reisner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


To compare the normal extrahepatic portion of the fetal intra-abdominal umbilical vein (FIUV) with varix of the FIUV, we prospectively measured the diameter of the FIUV in 150 uncomplicated second and third trimester pregnancies and compared these results with retrospective review of nine fetuses with varix of the FIUV as an isolated prenatal sonographic finding. The diameter of the normal FIUV increases linearly from approximately 3 mm at 15 menstrual weeks to approximately 8 mm at term (R = 0.92). The nine fetuses with FIUV varix had a FIUV diameter 6 to 12 standard deviations above the mean for age. Four (44%) of the nine fetuses with FIUV varix subsequently died, including one with trisomy 21. One of the remaining fetuses developed severe hydrops 2 weeks after the initial detection of the FIUV varix. FIUV varix appears to carry an increased risk of adverse fetal outcome, including fetal demise.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)73-76
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Ultrasound in Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology


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