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Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews

Fetal and umbilical Doppler ultrasound in high-risk pregnancies

Overview of attention for article published in Cochrane database of systematic reviews, June 2017
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  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • Good Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (72nd percentile)

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8 tweeters
1 video uploader


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444 Mendeley
Fetal and umbilical Doppler ultrasound in high-risk pregnancies
Published in
Cochrane database of systematic reviews, June 2017
DOI 10.1002/14651858.cd007529.pub4
Pubmed ID

Zarko Alfirevic, Tamara Stampalija, Therese Dowswell


Abnormal blood flow patterns in fetal circulation detected by Doppler ultrasound may indicate poor fetal prognosis. It is also possible that false positive Doppler ultrasound findings could lead to adverse outcomes from unnecessary interventions, including preterm delivery. The objective of this review was to assess the effects of Doppler ultrasound used to assess fetal well-being in high-risk pregnancies on obstetric care and fetal outcomes. We updated the search of Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth's Trials Register on 31 March 2017 and checked reference lists of retrieved studies. Randomised and quasi-randomised controlled trials of Doppler ultrasound for the investigation of umbilical and fetal vessels waveforms in high-risk pregnancies compared with no Doppler ultrasound. Cluster-randomised trials were eligible for inclusion but none were identified. Two review authors independently assessed the studies for inclusion, assessed risk of bias and carried out data extraction. Data entry was checked. We assessed the quality of evidence using the GRADE approach. Nineteen trials involving 10,667 women were included. Risk of bias in trials was difficult to assess accurately due to incomplete reporting. None of the evidence relating to our main outcomes was graded as high quality. The quality of evidence was downgraded due to missing information on trial methods, imprecision in risk estimates and heterogeneity. Eighteen of these studies compared the use of Doppler ultrasound of the umbilical artery of the unborn baby with no Doppler or with cardiotocography (CTG). One more recent trial compared Doppler examination of other fetal blood vessels (ductus venosus) with computerised CTG.The use of Doppler ultrasound of the umbilical artery in high-risk pregnancy was associated with fewer perinatal deaths (risk ratio (RR) 0.71, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.52 to 0.98, 16 studies, 10,225 babies, 1.2% versus 1.7 %, number needed to treat (NNT) = 203; 95% CI 103 to 4352, evidence graded moderate). The results for stillbirths were consistent with the overall rate of perinatal deaths, although there was no clear difference between groups for this outcome (RR 0.65, 95% CI 0.41 to 1.04; 15 studies, 9560 babies, evidence graded low). Where Doppler ultrasound was used, there were fewer inductions of labour (average RR 0.89, 95% CI 0.80 to 0.99, 10 studies, 5633 women, random-effects, evidence graded moderate) and fewer caesarean sections (RR 0.90, 95% CI 0.84 to 0.97, 14 studies, 7918 women, evidence graded moderate). There was no comparative long-term follow-up of babies exposed to Doppler ultrasound in pregnancy in women at increased risk of complications.No difference was found in operative vaginal births (RR 0.95, 95% CI 0.80 to 1.14, four studies, 2813 women), nor in Apgar scores less than seven at five minutes (RR 0.92, 95% CI 0.69 to 1.24, seven studies, 6321 babies, evidence graded low). Data for serious neonatal morbidity were not pooled due to high heterogeneity between the three studies that reported it (1098 babies) (evidence graded very low).The use of Doppler to evaluate early and late changes in ductus venosus in early fetal growth restriction was not associated with significant differences in any perinatal death after randomisation. However, there was an improvement in long-term neurological outcome in the cohort of babies in whom the trigger for delivery was either late changes in ductus venosus or abnormalities seen on computerised CTG. Current evidence suggests that the use of Doppler ultrasound on the umbilical artery in high-risk pregnancies reduces the risk of perinatal deaths and may result in fewer obstetric interventions. The results should be interpreted with caution, as the evidence is not of high quality. Serial monitoring of Doppler changes in ductus venosus may be beneficial, but more studies of high quality with follow-up including neurological development are needed for evidence to be conclusive.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 8 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 444 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United Kingdom 3 <1%
Canada 3 <1%
Colombia 1 <1%
Ireland 1 <1%
Belgium 1 <1%
Unknown 435 98%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 76 17%
Researcher 63 14%
Student > Bachelor 60 14%
Student > Ph. D. Student 36 8%
Student > Postgraduate 33 7%
Other 94 21%
Unknown 82 18%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 207 47%
Nursing and Health Professions 37 8%
Social Sciences 21 5%
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 17 4%
Unspecified 12 3%
Other 47 11%
Unknown 103 23%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 6. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 19 August 2020.
All research outputs
of 17,365,229 outputs
Outputs from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 11,660 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 278,053 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 241 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 17,365,229 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done well and is in the 75th percentile: it's in the top 25% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 11,660 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 25.0. This one is in the 43rd percentile – i.e., 43% of its peers scored the same or lower than it.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 278,053 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 72% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 241 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one is in the 29th percentile – i.e., 29% of its contemporaries scored the same or lower than it.