Placental assessment using spectral analysis of the envelope of umbilical venous waveforms in sheep

Jonathan M. Rubin, Stephen Z. Pinter, Katherine M. Halloran, Brooke D. Pallas, J. Brian Fowlkes, Arpita K. Vyas, Vasantha Padmanabhan, Oliver D. Kripfgans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: This study was designed to test the efficacy of an ultrasound flow measurement method to evaluate placental function in a hyperandrogenic sheep model that produces placental morphologic changes and an intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) phenotype. Materials and methods: Pregnant ewes were assigned randomly between control (n = 12) and testosterone-treatment (T-treated, n = 22) groups. The T-treated group was injected twice weekly intramuscularly (IM) with 100 mg testosterone propionate. Control sheep were injected with corn oil vehicle. Lambs were delivered at 119.5 ± 0.48 days gestation. At the time of delivery of each lamb, flow spectra were generated from one fetal artery and two fetal veins, and the spectral envelopes examined using fast Fourier transform analysis. Base 10 logarithms of the ratio of the amplitudes of the maternal and fetal spectral peaks (LRSP) in the venous power spectrum were compared in the T-treated and control populations. In addition, we calculated the resistive index (RI) for the artery defined as ((peak systole – min diastole)/peak systole). Two-tailed T-tests were used for comparisons. Results: LRSPs, after removal of significant outliers, were −0.158 ± 0.238 for T-treated and 0.057 ± 0.213 for control (p = 0.015) animals. RIs for the T-treated sheep fetuses were 0.506 ± 0.137 and 0.497 ± 0.086 for controls (p = 0.792) Discussion: LRSP analysis distinguishes between T-treated and control sheep, whereas RIs do not. LRSP has the potential to identify compromised pregnancies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-127
Number of pages9
StatePublished - Oct 2023


  • Fast Fourier transform of umbilical venous Doppler spectral envelope
  • Hyperandrosterone sheep model
  • Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR)
  • Umbilical venous Doppler spectral analysis
  • Umbilical venous blood flow


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