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Can maternal-fetal hemodynamics influence prenatal development in dogs?

Freitas, Luana Azevedo de, Mota, Gustavo Lobato, Silva, Herlon Victor Rodrigues, Carvalho, Cibele Figueira, Silva, Lúcia Daniel Machado da
Animal reproduction science 2016 v.172 pp. 83-93
artificial insemination, blood flow, conceptus, congenital abnormalities, dogs, embryonic mortality, fetal death, fetus, gestational age, prenatal development, resorption, statistical analysis, umbilical arteries, velocimetry, viability
The goals of this study were to report embryonic and fetal ultrasound changes and compare blood flow of uteroplacental and umbilical arteries of normal and abnormal conceptus. Accordingly, from the day of mating or artificial insemination, all fetuses in 60 pregnancies were evaluated weekly. According to the ultrasound findings, the gestational age was determined and the conceptuses were divided into normal or abnormal (embryonic and fetal abnormalities). The two-dimensional ultrasound assessment consists of measuring and evaluating the echogenicity of conceptus and extra-fetal structures. Doppler velocimetry measured the resistivity index (RI) and pulsatility index (PI) of uteroplacental and umbilical arteries. Two-dimensional and Doppler measurements were expressed as mean and standard deviation. Differences between normal and abnormal groups were subject to Mann-Whitney test (P<0.05). Of 264 fetuses, 15.90% showed embryonic abnormalities (resorption) and 5.68% presented fetal abnormalities (congenital abnormalities, fetal underdevelopment and fetal death). We observed a reduced diameter and abnormalities in the contour of gestational vesicle, lack of viability, increased placental thickness, increased fluid echogenicity and increases in RI and PI of uteroplacental arteries of conceptuses with embryonic resorption between the 2nd and 4th weeks. Fetuses with abnormalities showed changes in the flow of uteroplacental and umbilical arteries prior to visualization of two-dimensional alterations and different vascular behavior according to the classification of the change. Results show that ultrasound is efficient for the detection of embryonic and fetal abnormalities. When combined with Doppler ultrasound, it allows early detection of gestational changes, as well as hemodynamic changes, in conceptuses with abnormalities, which may influence their development.