One hundred forty-six women admitted to the high-risk obstetric unit between November 1987 and December 1988 participated in a study designed to compare Doppler umbilical artery flow studies with standard antepartum testing in the prediction of adverse fetal outcome. A Doppler ultrasound examination was considered abnormal when the average systolic/diastolic ratio was greater than or equal to 4. The antepartum testing consisted of a combined use of nonstress testing and contraction stress testing. If both the Doppler systolic/diastolic ratio and the antepartum testing were abnormal, there was a significantly increased incidence of intrauterine growth retardation (47%), fetal distress necessitating cesarean section (67%), and admission to neonatal intensive care (86%). Doppler umbilical artery flow studies are an important adjunct to antepartum fetal surveillance in high-risk patients but should not determine clinical management when standard antepartum surveillance remains normal. © 1990.