Besides the issue of chromosomal disorders, single umbilical artery (SUA) has been associated with intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR). It behoves the caregivers therefore to ensure growth of the baby is monitored throughout the pregnancy, if necessary by serial ultrasound scans especially after 28 weeks (third trimester).
We have looked at each marker in isolation to examine their individual importance. However, you will have noticed that the recurring theme in all is that when another marker is found alongside any of them, the risk of a chromosomal disorder becomes much higher. The finding of a cluster of these soft markers is therefore regarded as a significant finding which should be actively investigated. Diagnostic tests should be encouraged unless parents do not wish to have these. Likewise, a combination of a soft marker and a structural abnormality (as listed above) carries the same degree of increased risk. One particular study showed that with two or more soft markers, the risk of an aneuploidy (chromosomal disorder) is increased 12-fold.
Last update: January 24, 2013