Plasma volume expansion for suspected impaired fetal growth

Too little evidence to show whether it is beneficial for pregnant women to have extra plasma when the baby is growing more slowly than expected.

Plasma is the fluid that carries the blood cells in the body. The amount of plasma and blood cells (the blood) circulating in a woman's body can double during pregnancy. Sometimes, women whose babies are growing too slowly during pregnancy (impaired fetal growth) do not have as much blood circulating in their body as would be expected. Plasma volume expansion is where solutions are injected into the woman's bloodstream to increase plasma levels. No trials were found to show whether plasma volume expansion is beneficial for these women or their babies.

Authors' conclusions: 

There is not enough evidence to evaluate the use of plasma volume expansion for suspected impaired fetal growth.

Read the full abstract...

Failure of the normal expansion of plasma volume in the mother is associated with impaired fetal growth and pre-eclampsia.


The objective of this review was to assess the effects of plasma volume expansion for suspected impaired fetal growth.

Search strategy: 

We searched the Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group's Trials Register (March 2010).

Selection criteria: 

Randomized or quasi-randomized trials of plasma volume expansion compared to no plasma volume expansion in women with suspected impaired fetal growth.

Data collection and analysis: 

Trial quality was assessed.

Main results: 

No studies were included.