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OBJECTIVE: We aimed to determine the prevalence of abnormal umbilical artery (UA), uterine artery (UtA), middle cerebral artery (MCA) and cerebroplacental ratio (CPR) Doppler, and their relationship with adverse perinatal outcomes in women undergoing routine antenatal care in the third trimester. DESIGN: Prospective cohort. SETTING: Kagadi Hospital, Uganda. POPULATION: Non-anomalous singleton pregnancies. METHODS: Women underwent an early dating ultrasound and a third-trimester Doppler scan between 32 and 40 weeks of gestation, from 2018 to 2020. We handled missing data using multiple imputation and analysed the data using descriptive methods and a binary logistic regression model. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Composite adverse perinatal outcome (CAPO), perinatal death and stillbirth. RESULTS: We included 995 women. The mean gestational age at Doppler scan was 36.9 weeks (SD 1.02 weeks) and 88.9% of the women gave birth in a health facility. About 4.4% and 5.6% of the UA pulsatility index (PI) and UtA PI were above the 95th percentile, whereas 16.4% and 10.4% of the MCA PI and CPR were below the fifth percentile, respectively. Low CPR was strongly associated with stillbirth (OR 4.82, 95% CI 1.09-21.30). CPR and MCA PI below the fifth percentile were independently associated with CAPO; the association with MCA PI was stronger in small-for-gestational-age neonates (OR 3.75, 95% CI 1.18-11.88). CONCLUSION: In late gestation, abnormal UA PI was rare. Fetuses with cerebral blood flow redistribution were at increased risk of stillbirth and perinatal complications. Further studies examining the predictive accuracy and effectiveness of antenatal Doppler ultrasound screening in reducing the risk of perinatal deaths in low- and middle-income countries are warranted.

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Doppler ultrasound, cerebroplacental ratio, developing countries, perinatal death, prediction, prenatal care, screening, stillbirth