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Evaluation of feline uterine and umbilical arteries blood flow in a pharmacologically induced abnormal gestation model

Blanco, P.G., Vercellini, R., Rube, A., Rodríguez, R., Arias, D.O., Gobello, C.
Theriogenology 2016 v.86 no.9 pp. 2323-2327
Felidae, blood flow, cats, heart rate, models, prediction, pregnancy, ultrasonography, umbilical arteries
The aim of this study was to describe resistance index (RI) and systolic/diastolic ratio (S/D ratio) of uterine and umbilical arteries in an experimental model of abnormal pregnancy in felids. On days 30 to 35 (32 ± 2.9) after mating, 20 domestic short-hair pregnant queens were randomly assigned to one of the following treatment groups: a treated group (TG; n = 8), which received 10 mg/kg of aglepristone subcutaneously twice, 24 hours apart, and a control nontreated group (CG; n = 12). M-mode and Doppler ultrasonographic evaluations were performed at the initiation of the treatment (Day 0) and then every other day during 8 days. In both groups, uterine and umbilical arteries were evaluated by Doppler ultrasound, whereas fetal heart rate was assessed by M-mode ultrasound. Resistance index of uterine artery augmented in TG from Day 2 onward, conversely it decreased in CG (P < 0.01). On Day 8, RI values were 0.64 ± 0.05 vs 0.37 ± 0.01 for TG and CG, respectively. Additionally, S/D ratio of the same artery presented an increase in TG, whereas this ratio diminished in CG (P < 0.01). On Day 8, this parameter showed values of 2.98 ± 0.4 vs 1.62 ± 0.06 for TG and CG, respectively. Resistance index of umbilical artery remained almost unchanged in TG from Day 6 onward, whereas it progressively decreased in CG throughout the course of the study (P < 0.05). On Day 8, RI were 0.89 ± 0.04 and 0.82 ± 0.01, for TG and CG, respectively. Furthermore, on Day 8, S/D ratio of umbilical artery progressively diminished in CG but not in TG (P < 0.01), being 14.7 ± 9.1 vs 5.9 ± 0.3 for TG and CG, respectively. Fetal heart rate was higher in TG than in CG (P < 0.05). Group differences in Doppler parameters appeared on Day 2, when the other clinical or ultrasonographic signs were still absent. It is concluded that blood flow of the uterine and umbilical arteries differed between these normal and abnormal gestations predicting an adverse obstetric outcome.