View Full Version : Single Umbilical Artery
My bub has SUA (single umbilical artery), the stuff written on the net is pretty scary. Has anyone got information on what SUA is and what it means?
DD due 5 Nov 2005
Hope this helps. :)
The normal umbilical cord is made up of three vessels; two arteries and one vein. The prevalence of single umbilical artery (SUA) is about 1 in 100 live births, with this finding being less common in Japanese and Black populations. It is three to four times higher in multiple pregnancies. There is no evidence of a familial trend with this finding. The selection process of the missing (or existing) vessel is likely to be random, even though a right single artery was seen slightly more often
When diagnosing a two vessel cord this can be done in two ways. Firstly, a true transverse section of the cord should be obtained in a conventional B-Mode scan in which one can identify the two arteries and a single vein. If SUA is found invariably the artery is much larger than the calibre found of each artery in normal three vessel cord.
Secondly, the umbilical arteries could be visualised on each side of the fetal bladder using the colour flow Doppler imaging. In SUA, there is only one vessel on either side of the bladder
Diagnosis of SUA should lead to a comprehensive examination of the fetus for any other anomaly, since 1 in 5 fetuses with a SUA will be found to have multiple abnormalities. The most associated abnormalities are cardiac (VSD) and urinary tract malformations. In addition, there is a higher incidence of marginal and valementous insertion of the umbilical cord. Upto 15-20% of the fetuses with SUA are at risk of intrauterine growth retardation.
If a fetus with a SUA has associated abnormalities, karyotyping is justified. However, with SUA as an isolated finding, care should be taken in counselling the patient with regard to karyotyping as the percentage of chromosomal anomalies is so low.
For some re-assurance, my four year old had a single umbilical artery, and she was (and is) 100% perfect.
At my 20 week scan, the doctor doing the scan explained to me the risk of heart problems and such associated with the condition, and also that she might be small for dates, and therefore need to be born early if she was not doing well on the inside.
I had a follow-up scan at 30 weeks, at which they focussed in detail on her heart, and estimated her size, and everything was determined to be normal.
The pregnancy went to term, and she was born on her due date, just a couple of grams lighter than her older sister.
It's scary when they first say that something might be wrong with baby, but it can turn out just fine. Don't panic yet.
It is great 2 c a site like this working very well :) . My wife and I are expecting any day now (our 4th) and the little tacker has been diagnosed with SUA. I agree that the net info can be pretty daunting but if you keep digging you will soon realise that the chances of complications are really quite low.Like most we have been told of the very small odds of Sua bubs developing serious complications. It frustrating when you go through the process of GP's, specialists, scans etc all saying things are still looking all ok only to be told by a part time midwife that bub will be whisked away at birth with likely kidney or renal problems :mad: . There is no evidence at all indicating any problems and believe me we have exhausted just about all of the available tests. From all advice we seem to be getting If there are no detectable issues by about 30-36 weeks then it is most likely to be a normal healthy happy bub.
Also have a child (4 mos) diagnosed with SUA. They did many prenatal sonos and found one kidney to be slightly larger than the other, but has not been a problem since birth. At 2 mos they did a sonogram of the kidneys and two tests to check for reflux back into the kidneys or obstruction, and after much prayer all was found to be functioning properly. Don't panic (although the doctors give you all the risk factors), stay as calm as possible and take good care of yourself...my doctor suggested putting my feet up and laying on my left side for a minimum of one hour each day to encourage blood flow. I wish I would have worried less and enjoyed my pregnancy more. Doctor suggested not letting the baby go past his due date and weekly stress tests at 8-9 months, all were reassuring. Please be encouraged!
Hi. I'm 22 weeks, and have just been told that I have SUA. I'm confused and scared that my baby will not be born healthy. The ultrasound showed that there weren't any abnormalities in any of his organs or limbs, but does that mean that everything will be ok? I would also like to meet others who are in a similar situation....
You might wa to check this other thread we've had on this subject:
Sorry I'm too lazy to repost :D
Just wanted to post and say that I had a SUA when my mum was pregnant with me and I am fine.
I believe that it does increase the risk of certain abnormalities but more often than not these babies are born healthy with no problems, just as I was.
Okay thanx for all of ur help! :) I feel a lot better now...I guess unless something actually comes up there is no real point stressing!
Our baby too has sua...apparently it effects 1 in 100 births...this is our 4 th baby too & it was picked up at the 20 u/s. I was highly stressed after the u/s & when i saw my ob insited that i have a 2nd opinion on the rest of my bubs anatomy...he of course allowed me to have another u/s where i had two fantastic sonographers (1 was a dr) who did a brilliant u/s & showed everything was working just as it should...just that our bub only had 1 artery...they (like my ob) were again very reassuring saying that they see this problem often & to go home & enjoy my pregnancy...which i now am. I dont google anything (well not now anyway!) & we are just waiting till we get to 32 weeks when my ob is refering me for another u/s to check bub's growth. He too said there may be a 'small' chance that if bub is not growing we will be induced a little earlier...I'll cross that bridge if/when we come to it..My ob has assured me that he isnt concerned & my pregnancy & birth should follow normal course...as most of his other patients have in regards to sua...after 4.5 years of being under him & 3 beautiful other children...im going to trust him on it :yes:
Hey! Just thought I'd give you all an update. Alewander was born a healthy 8lb 11oz! He is in perfect health, but there are concerns with his kidneys. One is seriously undersize, the other larger than normal.
Angela and David
Great to hear that he is healty,
This is my first time in here.
Did you all get offered more ultasounds and test???
We have know about the SUA for our bub since 18 weeks, but nobody seemed to care. No other scans were ordered, no tests offered.
Now at 36 weeks, they are unhappy about the size of bub.
As you can understand we are quite angry about this and I was wondering if anyone has had a similar experience???
We are now having an U/S on Wednesday to see whats going on. Hopefully, she is just small and nothing else.
Thanks for listening,
Angela and David.
Sorry can't help you on the SUA but just wanted to let you know I have my :fingerscrossed: that everything is okay with your bub. It cetainly sounds like some more follow up should have been done.
Hi, I too have just had my 20wk scan and been told that my baby has SUA, it is a very scary and stressful time and i have been frantically searching the net for more info, its great to have the opinions of others going through or been through the same thing. Thankyou to everyone for their information, it is very reassuring that it isnt the end of the world. So far My baby girl is a healthy size and Kidneys seem to be functioning normally, hopefully things keep going well!
I'm glad all seems to be going well for you. I hope that continues. Following my 18 week scan I got told we had a SUA. We freaked out after researching on the internet, but since then we've calmed down a bit. I am still very concerned though, but it's nice to see that others on this site have had perfectly healthy babies with the same condition. Do you know if there are any chances of brain defects as a result of SUA? Can anyone else advise?
I think the best advice i received was from another lady who also had a baby with a SUA and that wa not to search the net, most of the stuff is worst case scenario's everyone i have spoken to have had no complications at all, which is comforting. I have another scan next week and so far everyhting is looking fine. All the stressing was for nothing so far! I think though the the concern and worry will be there right until the end. Im not 100% sure but i think it can be linked to Down Syndrome, however the doctors are able to give you a percentage of what chance you have of your baby having that. Have you had a Nuchal translucency test for this? Thats the only thing i have heard of and i think the chances are quite slim. I hope i've helped you a little. I hope everything goes well for you.
I think you are right. People have told me not to go on the net. I have had a Nuchal Translucency and the likelihood of the child having Down Syndrome is small. I will wait now till my next scan to be done at 24 weeks and it's then that they look to see if baby is growing normally. I wish you and your baby girl all the best. Let me know how it all goes for you both!
Thank you for your reply. :flowerz:
Sounds like things are going well already, i have a scan on Monday for 28 weeks to see how she is growing, im getting bigger every week so hopefully thats a good sign. Good luck with your next scan, im sure it will be fine! i haven't heard of anyone that has had any major problems yet hopefully we are both part of the lucky ones! Let me know how you go.
Hi! I havent been on this thread for awhile, but thought I'd just leave a few comments....
Don't get too stressed about SUA. Problems only arise in a small minority of pregnancies. Its probably wise to get a follow up scan at around 32 weeks just to check that organs r formed and growing well etc.
had SUA with my son as u may read from a previous post, he is now a healthy 2 yr old. He only has one fully functioning kidney, as the other one is undeveloped and scarred, but this hasnt affected him in the slightest. Paediatrician just recommended that he has yearly urine / blood pressure checks, and if he plays any high risk sports in future to wear kidney protector
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