Effect of maternal cocaine abuse on renal arterial flow and urine output of the fetus

Subhash C. Mitra, Vijaya Ganesh, Joseph J. Apuzzio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: Our purpose was to study the short-term effect of maternal cocaine abuse on blood flow of the fetal kidney and the fetal hourly urine output. STUDY DESIGN: Thirty-three pregnant patients of various gestational ages with a history of cocaine abuse were studied. Patients were included if the urine specimen was positive for cocaine on the day of study. Patients were excluded if the urine specimen was positive for any other vasoactive substances or medications. Color and pulsed wave Doppler studies were used to obtain the flow velocity waveform of the fetal renal artery. The resistance index was calculated' from systolic and diastolic values of flow velocity waveforms, Longitudinal, transverse, and anteroposterior diameters of the fetal urinary bladder were measured from transverse and coronal images at their maximum diameters, and the bladder volume was calculated. The hourly urine output of the fetus was measured from the difference in the bladder volume at half-hour intervals. As controls, 110 normal pregnancies between 19 and 40 weeks were similarly studied for normal values. The resistance index of the fetal renal artery and the hourly fetal urine output of the two groups were compared. RESULTS: The resistance index of the fetal renal artery of normal pregnancies had a negative association with gestational age (p < 0.05). Cocaine-exposed fetuses had a significantly higher resistance index of the renal artery (p < 0.01) than did normal fetuses of corresponding gestational ages. A decrease in the hourly urine output of cocaine-exposed fetuses was observed, compared with normal controls of corresponding gestational ages (p < 0.001). CONCLUSION: The resistance index values of fetal renal artery and fetal urine output were affected by maternal cocaine abuse.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1556-1559
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1994

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


  • Doppler
  • Fetal urine output
  • fetal renal artery

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