Pulmonary vascular reactivity in growth restricted fetuses using computational modelling and machine learning analysis of fetal Doppler waveforms


The aim of this study was to investigate the pulmonary vasculature in baseline conditions and after maternal hyperoxygenation in growth restricted fetuses (FGR)

A prospective cohort study of singleton pregnancies including 97 FGR and 111 normally grown fetuses was carried out. Ultrasound Doppler of the pulmonary vessels was obtained at 24-37 weeks of gestation and data were acquired before and after oxygen administration. After, Machine Learning (ML) and a computational model were used on the Doppler waveforms to classify individuals and estimate pulmonary vascular resistance (PVR). Our results showed lower mean velocity time integral (VTI) in the main pulmonary and intrapulmonary arteries in baseline conditions in FGR individuals. Delta changes of the main pulmonary artery VTI and intrapulmonary artery pulsatility index before and after hyperoxygenation were significantly greater in FGR when compared with controls. Also, ML identified two clusters: A (including 66% controls and 34% FGR) with similar Doppler traces over time and B (including 33% controls and 67% FGR) with changes after hyperoxygenation. The computational model estimated the ratio of PVR before and after maternal hyperoxygenation which was closer to 1 in cluster A (cluster A 0.98 ± 0.33 vs cluster B 0.78 ± 0.28, p = 0.0156). Doppler ultrasound allows the detection of significant changes in pulmonary vasculature in most FGR at baseline, and distinct responses to hyperoxygenation. Future studies are warranted to assess its potential applicability in the clinical management of FGR.


Kilian Vellvé, Patricia Garcia-Canadilla, Mariana Nogueira, Lina Youssef, Angela Arranz, Ayako Nakaki, David Boada 1, Isabel Blanco, Rosa Faner, Francesc Figueras, Àlvar Agustí, Eduard Gratacós, Francesca Crovetto, Bart Bijnens, Fàtima Crispi.

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