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An Absent Right Umbilical Artery Versus Absent Lt and the Prognostic Implications for the Fetus

Jennifer Durant, BS, RDMS, RDCS, RVT, Douglas Helm, MD,  
Karen Having, MS ED, RT(R), RDMS,  2
and Joy Guthrie, PhD, RDMS, RDCS, RVT, RCS, RCCS, RVS, FSDMS 3


A single umbilical artery (SUA) is one of the most common malformations in a fetus, with approximately a 1% occurrence rate. A retrospective study of 108 fetuses with a SUA was done to determine if the laterality of the SUA made a difference in fetal prognosis. An absent right umbilical artery was found in 42 (38.9%) of cases and an absent left umbilical artery in 66 (61.1%) cases. When correlated with fetal outcome, there was a closer association between an absent right umbilical artery with genitourinary anomalies, cardiac defects, and chromosomal abnormalities. There was a nine times greater likelihood (95% confidence interval of a 3 to 27 times greater probability) of a fetal anomaly with an absent right umbilical artery than with an absent left umbilical artery. 

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