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Sonographic Measurement of the Umbilical Cord and its Vessels and their Relation with Fetal Anthropometric Parameters


Sheida Rostamzadeh 1 , * , Mojgan Kalantari 1 , Mona Shahriari 2 , Madjid Shakiba 2


1 Department of Radiology, Mahdieh Hospital, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, IR Iran

2 Advanced Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology Research Center (ADIR), Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, IR Iran


Iranian Journal of Radiology: 11 (30th Iranian Congress of Radiology); e21407
Published Online: February 28, 2014
Article Type: Research Article




Background: It has been established that presence of lean umbilical cord with reduced Wharton`s jelly (WJ) in sonographic scans is a marker for delivery of a fetus at risk of being small for gestational age at birth. With improvement of ultrasound techniques, more studies have been investigating the alterations of the umbilical cord on pregnancy outcomes.

Objectives: The aim of the current study was to determine the reference ranges of the umbilical cord area during pregnancy and to find out the association between umbilical cord morphometry and fetal anthropometric parameters.

Patients and Methods: A cross sectional study was carried out on a study population of 278 low risk pregnant women between 1541 weeks of gestational age. Fetal anthropometric parameters including biparietal diameter, abdominal circumference, and femur length were calculated. The measurements of the area and circumference of the umbilical cord, vein and arteries were done on an adjacent plane to the insertion of umbilical cord into fetal abdomen. Mean and standard deviation of the area of the umbilical cord and its 5th, 10th, 50th, 90th, and 95th percentiles for each gestational age were calculated. Pearson correlation coefficient was used to assess the relation between the measures of the cord and fetal anthropometric parameters. Polynomial regression analysis was performed for curves.

Results: The values of the area of the umbilical cord, umbilical vein and WJ increase consistently until 30 weeks of gestation, after which they reach a plateau. There was a significant relation between anthropometric parameters and umbilical cord measurements especially with the areas of the umbilical cord, umbilical vein and WJ. The regression equation for the umbilical cord area according to gestational age up to 30 weeks was y = 0.2159x2+23.828x325.59 and for the WJ area according to gestational age up to 30 weeks was y = 0.2124x2+17.613x221.66

Conclusions: Reference ranges for umbilical cord area have been generated. The area of the umbilical cord and other components of it increase as a function of gestational age. These measurements correlate with fetal size.


© 2014, Author(s). This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/) which permits copy and redistribute the material just in noncommercial usages, provided the original work is properly cited.
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