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I had an ultrasound done yesterday and they found that I had a 4 vessel umbilical cord, and my doctor told me that it usually suggests that there are congenital birth defects within the baby, but he said from the looks of everything the baby looks healthy and doesnt seem like it has congenital birth defects. My question is, should I worry or not? I've been trying to find some answer to whats exactly going on. I wonder if there are hidden congenital birth defects that arent appearing. And if so what congenital defects can I expect since having 4 vessels in the umbilical cord? Please help me out, I'm worried to death. Also they said I had a high normal fluid level that day. The month prior or so They said it was a high normal then my doctor had me get checked again on the fluid levels and it was normal and now it's back to being a high normal.
I need some type of insight, some type of relief or knowledge on what's going on, please help!!
Here is a good link for information and pictures about 4 vessel umbilical cords:
There are some articles that suggest that a 4 vessel cord is correlated with multiple congenital anomalies. These should all (or most) be visible on ultrasound. I could also find several case reports of normal infants born with 4 vessels in the cord. It depends a lot on whether the extra vessel is a vein or an artery, with arteries being much less significant. In fact up to 5% of umbilical cords have an extra vein at some point in their length.
If you were my patient, I would strongly recommend a level 3 ultrasound, and I would also give you the option of an amniocentesis. These tests should give you the information that you need.
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