Correct interpretation of conspicuous blood flow velocity waveforms cannot rely solely on the evaluation of uteroplacental vascular Doppler flow patterns by means of angle-independent indices such as the resistance or pulsatility index. In addition to the degree of pulsatility, the waveform shape between the systolic and diastolic peak values is of considerable consequence. A subdivision of the total flow waveform into orthogonal polynomial components allows both pulsatility evaluation and notching to be registered, providing a higher sensitivity in identification of pathological vascular resistance. Accurate recording and assessment of the flow waveform is therefore an important qualitative criterion for the classification of Doppler flow patterns in pregnancies with reduced uteroplacental perfusion.

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