Uterine artery pulsatility and resistivity indices in pregnancy: Comparison of MRI and Doppler US

Hawkes, R. A., Patterson, A. J., Priest, A. N., Harrison, G., Hunter, S., Pinney, J., Set, P., Hilliard, N., Graves, M. J., Smith, G. C S. & Lomas, D. J. (2016). Uterine artery pulsatility and resistivity indices in pregnancy: Comparison of MRI and Doppler US. Placenta, 43, pp. 35-40. doi: 10.1016/j.placenta.2016.04.002

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The aim of this work was to evaluate whether the uterine arteries (UtA) could be identified and their flow profiles measured during a fetal MRI examination. A comparison was performed against same day sonographic Doppler assessment.


35 normal, healthy, singleton pregnancies at 28–32 weeks gestation underwent routine Doppler examination, followed by MRI examination. The resistivity index (RI) and pulsatility index (PI) of the left and right UtA were measured using phase contrast MRI. Bland Altman statistics were used to compare MRI and ultrasound results.


Sixty-nine comparable vessels were analysed. Six vessels were excluded due to artefact or technical error. Bland-Altman analysis demonstrated the ultrasound indices were comparable, although systematically lower than the MRI indices; Right UtA RI bias −0.03 (95% limits of agreement (LOA) −0.27 to +0.20), and left UtA RI bias −0.06 (95% LOA −0.26 to +0.14); Right UtA PI bias −0.06 (95% LOA −0.50 to +0.38), Left UtA PI bias −0.11 (95% LOA −0.54 to +0.32). The inter-rater agreement for the MRI derived PI and RI analysis was good.


This study demonstrates that in the majority of early third trimester pregnancies, the uterine arteries can be identified, and their flow profiles measured using MRI, and that the derived PI and RI values are comparable with Doppler ultrasound values.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2016, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
Uncontrolled Keywords: Phase contrast; Magnetic resonance imaging; Uterine artery Doppler; Fetal growth restriction; Pre-eclampsia; Pulsatility index; Resistivity index
Subjects: R Medicine > RG Gynecology and obstetrics
Divisions: School of Health Sciences > Department of Midwifery
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/15924

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