*Reference values and z-score calculations for fetal tissue Doppler E, A, and S waves added to new fetal echo z-score app.*

I just wrapped up the design and implementation of a new fetal echo z-score site (fetal.parameterz.com) and as a test of the new modular design, I added the fetal tissue Doppler data from this recent article:

Gestational age- and estimated fetal weight-adjusted reference ranges for myocardial tissue Doppler indices at 24-41 weeks' gestation.

Comas M, Crispi F, Gómez O, Puerto B, Figueras F, Gratacós E.

Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol. 2011 Jan;37(1):57-64.

Although the article provides equations that adjust for fetal weight, since no pediatric cardiologist has *ever* asked me to estimate the fetal weight *wipes brow*, I have only included the gestational age-adjusted equations.

Jumping ahead for just a second, here is an example of the results page:

fetal tissue Doppler z-scores for a 28wk4d fetus

and here is an example chart:

fetal tissue Doppler LV TDI S vs. EGA

#### Challenges

Implementing a class that provided a common interface for calculating a mean, range, and z-score was non-trivial for this reference. There are no fewer than *5 distinct models* that govern the E’, A’, and S’ calculations:

- linear model with constant variance
- linear model with non-constant variance
- log-linear model with constant variance (log-normal)
- log-linear model with non-constant variance (NOT log-normal ?)
- log-polynomial model with non-constant variance (NOT log-normal?)

A second challenge was getting my calculations (based on the published data) to reconcile with the supplemental material (an Excel spreadsheet). In a few instances the spreadsheet used data with more significant digits than in the article, and in a few other instances the spreadsheet incorrectly exponentiates the “standard deviation” term. In the end, I figured that I had to go with the published data over the supplemental data. Also, it became clear after referring to the *charts* that the spreadsheet data was incorrect.

#### Concerns

Apart from the multiple models and the occasional inconsistency in the formulae, there is also the small matter of the article failing to provide the typical correlation coefficients for the models, and, therefore, necessarily omitting the “R-squared” values. The R^{2} tell us about the goodness-of-fit or, sometimes, *how much of the variance is explained by the model*. For some of the dependent variables this seemed like an important omission as the models appear promising. I have included the data for the E’, A’, and S’ because they do look somewhat promising. I did *not* include the data for the derived values like the E’/A’, E/E’ ratios or the MPI calculations because, to me, they seem dodgy—particularly without an R^{2}.

#### Summary

- New fetal echo z-score calculator
- New calculations for fetal tissue Doppler
- I welcome your comments and criticisms