Objective: In mid-gestation, the finding of an increase in the ophthalmic artery second to first peak of systolic velocity ratio (PSV ratio) provides useful prediction of subsequent development of pre-eclampsia (PE). The objective of this study of an unselected population at 19–23 weeks' gestation was to gain a better understanding of the factors that influence ophthalmic artery Doppler by examining the possible association between the PSV ratio and maternal cardiovascular function. Methods: This was a prospective observational study in women attending for a routine hospital visit at 19 + 1 to 23 + 3 weeks' gestation. This visit included assessment of flow velocity waveforms from the maternal ophthalmic arteries and assessment of maternal cardiovascular function. The following nine cardiovascular indices were examined: E/A ratio; E/e′ ratio; myocardial performance index; global longitudinal systolic strain; left ventricular ejection fraction; peripheral vascular resistance; left ventricular cardiac output; left ventricular mass indexed for body surface area; and mean arterial pressure. The ophthalmic artery PSV ratio and the nine cardiovascular indices were converted to either log10 multiples of the median (MoM) values or deviations from the median (deltas) values after adjustment for maternal characteristics and elements of medical history. Regression analysis was then used to examine the significance of the association between PSV ratio delta and MoM or delta values of each cardiovascular index in the total population and in the subgroup that developed PE. Results: The study population of 2853 pregnancies contained 76 (2.7%) that developed PE. In the total population, there were significant but weak associations between the PSV ratio and most of the cardiovascular indices, with r-values of < 0.1, except for mean arterial pressure with r = 0.178. In the subgroup that developed PE, a moderately strong association between the PSV ratio and left ventricular mass indexed for body surface area was noted (r = 0.308). Conclusions: The findings of this study suggest that Doppler assessment of PSV ratio in the ophthalmic artery provides information about peripheral vascular status. The increase in PSV ratio in women who develop PE is associated with increased afterload and an increase in left ventricular thickness.
- maternal cardiovascular function
- ophthalmic artery Doppler