Developmental programming of cardiovascular risk in intrauterine growth-restricted twin fetuses according to aortic intima thickness

Silvia Visentin, Enrico Grisan, Vincenzo Zanardo, Martina Bertin, Elisa Veronese, Francesco Cavallin, Guido Ambrosini, Daniele Trevisanto, Erich Cosmi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objectives-We aimed to test the hypothesis that aortic intima thickness is greater in intrauterine growth-restricted (IUGR) twin fetuses compared to normally developing twins, thus defining an increased cardiovascular risk that reflects genetic factors in fetuses sharing the same womb. Methods-We conducted a prospective study performed on twins from January 2009 to July 2011. Twins were classified into 3 groups: IUGR fetuses with an estimated fetal weight below the 10th percentile and an umbilical artery pulsatility index of greater than 2 SDs (group A), fetuses with an estimated fetal weight below the 10th percentile and normal Doppler findings (group B), and fetuses with an estimated fetal weight appropriate for gestational age (group C). Aortic intima thickness was measured at a median gestational age of 32 weeks. Values were compared among groups and between each twin and cotwin, also considering sex and chorionicity. Results-Twenty-five fetuses were classified as group A, 36 as group B, and 95 as group C. The median aortic intima thickness values were 0.9 mm in group A, 0.7 mm in group B, and 0.6 mm in group C (P < .0001). There was a statistically significant difference between the aortic intima thickness of the twins and cotwins in groups A and B (P < .0001). Sex and chorionicity did not correlate with aortic intima thickness. Conclusions-In this study, IUGR fetuses with Doppler abnormalities had greater aortic intima thickness, and IUGR twins with normal Doppler findings had intermediate thickness, supporting a genetic predisposition to cardiovascular risk independent of sex and chorionicity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279-284
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Ultrasound in Medicine
Volume32
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2013

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Keywords

  • Aortic intima thickness
  • Cardiovascular risk
  • Chorionicity
  • Doppler velocimetry
  • Intrauterine growth restriction
  • Sex
  • Twin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Visentin, S., Grisan, E., Zanardo, V., Bertin, M., Veronese, E., Cavallin, F., Ambrosini, G., Trevisanto, D., & Cosmi, E. (2013). Developmental programming of cardiovascular risk in intrauterine growth-restricted twin fetuses according to aortic intima thickness. Journal of Ultrasound in Medicine, 32(2), 279-284.