Original Investigation

The impact of intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy on fetal cardiac and peripheral circulation


  • Seçil Kurtulmuş
  • Esra Bahar Gür
  • Deniz Öztekin
  • Ebru Şahin Güleç
  • Duygu Okyay
  • İbrahim Gülhan

Received Date: 14.10.2014 Accepted Date: 18.01.2015 J Turk Ger Gynecol Assoc 2015;16(2):74-79 PMID: 26097388


The aim of this study was to evaluate changes in fetal cardiac and peripheral circulation in pregnancies complicated with intrahepatic cholestasis.

Material and Methods:

The Doppler examination results of 22 pregnant subjects complicated with intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy (ICP) and 44 healthy controls were compared. The parameters of fetal cardiac circulation were pulmonary artery and aortic (Ao) peak systolic velocity (PSV), pulmonary vein (Pv), peak velocity index (PVI) and pulsatility index (PI), mitral valve (MV) and tricuspid valve (TV), early diastole (E)- and atrial contraction (A)-wave peak velocity ratio (E/A), and isthmus aortic peak systolic velocity (IAo PSV). The parameters of fetal peripheral circulation were middle cerebral artery (MCA) and umbilical artery (UA) PI, resistance index (RI), systolic/diastolic (S/D) ratio. Fetal obstetric Doppler monitoring was conducted weekly before 36 weeks and biweekly after that, and the results were compared with the normal reference values for gestational age.


The Doppler parameters of fetal cardiac and peripheral circulation did not significantly differ between the two groups. S/D ratio readings in the ICP group were significantly above 2 SD before 35 weeks of gestation. Women with ICP had increased risks of preterm delivery, neonatal unit admission, and meconium-stained amniotic fluid compared with those in the controls.


Fetuses of pregnant women with ICP showed no differences in the evaluation of cardiac and peripheral Doppler measurements compared with fetuses of healthy mothers. The Doppler investigation of the umbilical artery may be useful in monitoring of pregnancies complicated by early onset intrahepatic cholestasis.

Keywords: Intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy, fetal Doppler, fetal cardiac circulation