Modeling Pulsatility Index nomograms from different maternal and fetal vessels by quantile regression at 24–40 weeks of gestation: a prospective cross-sectional study
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Objective: Recent evidences highlight a considerable heterogeneity in the methodology of previously published studies reporting reference ranges for maternal and fetal Dopplers, which may have relevant implications in clinical practice. In view of these limitations, a standardized methodology to construct Doppler charts has been proposed. The aim of this study was to develop charts for pulsatility index (PI) of maternal and fetal Dopplers based upon the recently proposed standardized methodology and using quantile regression.
Methods: Prospective cross-sectional study including 2516 low-risk singleton pregnancies between 24 and 40 weeks of gestation. The mean uterine, umbilical (UA), middle cerebral (MCA) and their ratio (cerebroplacental ratio, CPR) centile values were established by quantile regression in the considered gestational interval. Interclass correlation coefficient (ICC) of each maternal and fetal vessel was also computed to assess the intra- and inter-observer agreement of the results.
Results: There was a good intra- and inter-observer agreement for each of the explored vessels (ICC >0.92 and >0.91 for a single and two observers, respectively). The 5th, 10th, 50th, 90th and 95th centiles of the reference range for gestation were constructed by quantile regression and compared to previously established reference charts. All the Doppler indices significantly changed with gestation. Second-degree polynomial regression models better described the changes with gestation in PCR and MCA PI values while a linear model better predicted the changes of other Doppler indices with advancing gestation. When compared to other studies reporting reference ranges for maternal and fetal Dopplers, the present charts showed similar median values but different distribution from the median.
Conclusions: We provided prospective charts of maternal and fetal Dopplers based upon a previously proposed standardized methodology and using quantile regression. When compared to previously published studies, these new charts showed similar median values but different deviations from the median which may help in better differentiating cases at higher risk of placental insufficiency and adverse perinatal outcome.