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single umbilical artery

Hi i just had my 19 week sonogram and learned that i'm having a baby girl. After my ultrasound i was sent to a room where a doctor talked to us. He said that there is something wrong with the way the urine is going to the kidneys, but the bladder does empty and fill. The handwriting is difficult but i believe it says that its called pylectasis. Everything else seems ok. The baby's weight is about 8 oz. and she said it was about 9 inches long, although i'm pretty sure thats not crown to rump. To me it sounds more like crown to toes. The doctor we talked to also told us that the baby has a single umbilical artery. I am 18 years old so the idea of a baby with a chromosomal disorder is pretty hard to fathom. i have been on many sites to find out how likely it is and they all say different things. I was wondering what the chances of miscarriage or stillbirth are or the chances of a serious birth defect or chromosomal disorder. Any other information would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!!!
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replied July 31st, 2010
Welcome to ehealthforum.
During a normal single pregnancy, the umbilical cord contains three blood vessels: two arteries and one vein. One umbilical artery is all that is needed to handle blood flow to the placenta, so the other artery is functionally redundant.
Sometimes (between 1 and 5% of pregnancies) an umbilical cord may contain only two vessels, one artery and one vein which is called "Single Umbilical Artery." It is the most common umbilical malformation.
The cause of this abnormality is unknown. It is believed to be caused by atrophy of a previously normal artery, presence of the original artery of the body stalk, or agenesis of one of the umbilical arteries. If an ultrasound examination done shows that the baby appears to have no other abnormalities, the baby is likely to be born healthy without having any other problems.
Some studies done suggest that as many as 25% of babies with single umbilical artery may have chromosomal or other abnormalities. If your baby is diagnosed with single umbilical artery during an ultrasound, your gynecologist might offer additional tests including additional ultrasounds or even amniocentesis.
Even if the baby appears to have no other abnormalities, you will probably only need to be monitored more closely during your pregnancy. While Single Umbilical Artery may not in itself cause other abnormalities, it is often a flag that other abnormalities are present. Fetal karyotyping should be considered, especially if any other anomalies are found during the ultrasound. Neonatal ultrasonography should be done to examine for renal anomalies if suspected.
Single umbilical artery in general can contribute to poor fetal growth, low birth weight, preterm delivery and stillbirth in few cases.
The various causes for this includes: Diabetes mellitus in mother, Increased incidence of placental anomalies, Intrauterine thrombosis of other umbilical artery, Maternal epilepsy, Toxemia of pregnancy, Twin gestation, Edward's syndrome.
Discuss about these with your gynecologist in your next visit.
Take care.

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Users who thank Madhumita Paul for this post: Jayasimha 

replied October 10th, 2012
HI Mam,

My wife had a Tiffa scan today and they said that there is only single umbilical artery found. Can you please suggest me what precautions i can take to avoid Risk.
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