Dr. Ahdoot shares what a woman should know about umbilical cord abnormalities.
Umbilical cord abnormalities can be two-fold. Actually they are multi-factorial. One is anatomical defects such as a knot in the umbilical cord or such as the umbilical cord being tight or being wrapped around the baby.
Other issues are if there’s placenta insufficiency or intrauterine growth retardation, or other risk factors, the cord could actually be very small and suggestive of the blood delivery to the baby could be less. It is not something that we directly monitor by, say, ultrasound.
However, it is something that we look for indirectly by doing other heart surveillance monitoring such as we look for outcome. Is the fluid around the baby decreased? Does the baby move less? Is the growth retarded? How does the placenta look? So we indirectly look for potential possible cord abnormalities, and then if during the early surveillance that we discussed, first and second trimester testing, the perinatologist or the OB/GYN actually identifies a two-vessel cord, then we refer the patient for genetic counseling.
So there’s both direct anatomic and indirect observational things that we can gain from monitoring the umbilical cord.
About Dr. David Ahdoot, M.D.:
David Ahdoot specializes in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Saint John’s Hospital in Santa Monica, California. He attended medical school at the University of California San Diego Medical Center. Later he went on to do his internship and residency at the University of California Irvine Medical Center. With more than 16 years experience, Dr. Ahdoot is a Diplomat of the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology.