The umbilical cord consists of three blood vessels, two arteries and one umbilical vein, which are surrounded and protected by the gelatine of Wharton, the baby receives all nutrients and oxygen from the mother through the umbilical vein.

Expert: Paris Valentini Chavez, gyneco-obstetrician Clinic in German

However, there is an anomaly that develops in the umbilical cord, in which, one of the arteries is absorbed early during gestation identified only two vessels, i.e. a vein and an artery, this is known as Single Umbilical Artery (AUU), explains Dr. Paris Valentini.

The 1% of pregnancies suffer from this malformation, and it occurs usually due to aplasia (absence of growth or incomplete development of an organ or tissue), or as a result of the atrophy of one artery.

How is it detected Single Umbilical Artery?

This anomaly is detected with an obstetric ultrasound, usually from the 12 week of gestation, in it you can get the image of a cross section of the umbilical cord in which are observed the blood vessels and as a single artery surrounding the urinary bladder, said the surgeon, Paris Valentini.

When it detects the single umbilical artery , the specialist must make sure that this disorder is not accompanied by other malformations. However, this disorder cannot be prevented or predicted.

Consequences on the baby

  • Single umbilical artery alters the reception of nutrients and oxygen, leading to complications for the baby, including intrauterine growth restriction and chromosomal abnormalities.
  • Infants with this disorder have a risk of premature delivery and low birth weight, for this reason, the doctor Paris Valentini suggests that after the birth it is necessary for doctors to dismiss other anatomic abnormalities fetal and also do a follow-up of the curve of fetal growth.
Read also: What is the umbilical cord

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