Single Umbilical Artery- SUA


Minister's of Penmai
May 21, 2011
What is SUA?
Normally there are 2 Arteries and 1 Vein - 3 blood vessels in the umblical cord. But in this case simply one artery stops developing for no reason or the primary umblical artery does not divide properly. Even though one artery and 1 vein is sufficient for providing enough nutrients back and forth to the baby. However, SUA will increase the risk of certain birth defects for the child.

How Common is SUA?
Single Umblical Artery - SUA occurs for 1 in 100 live births. It affect between .5% to 7% of pregnancy.

Factors that causes SUA?
  • Caucausian Women are more viable to this malfunction than japenese or women with African Race.
  • Women with multiple pregancies are 3 or 4 times likely to develop SUA.
  • Advanced maternal age (over 40)
  • Having 3 or more previous children.
  • Diabetes
  • Female fetal sex
Although SUA can affect either artery, the left artery tends to be absent slightly more often than the right.

How can you find if you have SUA?
The SUA can be found during your normal Ultrasound.During a routine prenatal ultrasound, one of the things the sonographer looks for is the presence of three blood vessels within the umbilical cord: one vein (which carries oxygen and nutrients from the mother to the baby) and two arteries (which move the fetal waste to the mother, to be processed and disposed of by her kidneys). Sometimes there are only two blood vessels (one vein and one artery), instead of the usual three. A two-vessel cord is also known as a single umbilical artery (SUA) because one of the usual arteries is missing. This is a very common finding on ultrasound

Will My baby be Healthy?
Most pregnancies with SUA have a normal prenatal course and a healthy baby at delivery, especially if there are no other findings on the ultrasound. Studies have found that there is an increased risk for other birth defects to be present in a baby with SUA. This can include many different kinds of problems, such as heart defects, kidney abnormalities, and vertebral (spine) defects. Many of these birth defects are able to be seen by ultrasound. For this reason, a high resolution (level II) ultrasound is offered to carefully look at the baby’s anatomy. If there are other ultrasound findings, more testing, such as amniocentesis, may be offered.

Ref: mydoctor(dot), womens-health website.

Dont worry, Everything will be just Fine...
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