ad. 42. What is a spectral Doppler?

The spectral Doppler is designed to assess the nature and speed of a blood flow in vessels or heart valves. On the screen, it is presented as regular waves of the frequency of a fetus’s heart or a heart of a mother if her vessels are examined. In everyday practice, in the third trimester of pregnancy, we use it in assessment of a flow in an artery of a fetal brain, in an umbilical artery in an umbilical cord, in a vessel in a liver and for the assessment of a baby’s circulatory system, i.e. an assessment of a baby’s well-being. Depending on the oxygen conditions and the level of carbon dioxide in fetal blood, the shape and the nature of the wave change. An ability to interpret the wave properly is extremely important and requires a great experience from an examining specialist. What is more, the spectral Doppler is applicable in an examination of a fetal heart, it allows for an early suspicion of a slight vessel stenosis, assessing the rhythm and the activity of atria, ventricles and valves in a heart. In an examination of a mother’s uterus artery, it allows for an early detection and placing women in the risk group of pregnancy induced hypertension.