Two ductus venosus: a previously unreported anomaly
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In early fetal life, the ductus venosus (DV) connects the umbilical vein, carrying nutrient-rich and oxygenated blood from the placenta to the inferior vena cava (IVC). We present the first ever case of a fetus with two ductus venosus. The fetus presented with a four-vessel cord and a dilated bowel at 31 weeks of gestation. Ultrasonography showed a persistent right umbilical vein. Echocardiographic investigation revealed normal cardiac anatomy with no major malformations. Two DVs with slightly different Doppler patterns were visualized anastomosing with the IVC. The baby was born uneventfully at 39 weeks of gestation with stable hemodynamics. Assuming every supernumerary umbilical vein should be connected to a DV for balanced circulation, a fetus with supernumerary umbilical veins lacking a corresponding number of DV connections is likely to be predisposed to complications such as hydrops fetalis and poor perinatal outcomes. The possibility of one or more umbilical veins lacking a DV connection warrants significant attention and regular monitoring from feto-maternal specialists, given the severity of the associated morbidity and mortality.