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Hemodynamics of the uterine and umbilical arteries during the perinatal period in ewes

Almeida Lima Veiga, Gisele, Souza Ramos Angrimani, Daniel, Garcia Silva, Liege Cristina, Machado Regazzi, Fernanda, Lúcio, Cristina Fátima, Infantosi Vannucchi, Camila
Animal reproduction science 2018 v.198 pp. 210-219
blood, blood flow, ewes, lambing, postpartum period, prediction, pregnancy, progesterone, ultrasonography, umbilical arteries, vasodilation
Examining feto-maternal blood flow is extremely important for accurate prenatal control and predicting adverse conditions during puerperium. We aimed to analyze blood flow of uterine artery (UA) and umbilical artery (UMA) from and subsequent to mid-gestation, lambing and postpartum of 15 ewes, subjected to lambing induction with aglepristone. Hemodynamic variables, diameter and blood flow of UA and UMA were determined by Doppler and B-mode ultrasonography at 60, 90 and 120 days of pregnancy, at 12 h before, 12 h after first aglepristone injection and 12 h after induction and days 1, 3, 5, 7, 15 and 30 after lambing. The UMA peak systolic:diastolic velocity (S/D), resistance index (RI) and pulsatility index (PI) decreased from mid-pregnancy until 120 d, whereas peak systolic velocity (PSV), end diastolic velocity (EDV) and time average maximum velocity (TAMAX) increased towards 120 d. The UMA RI additionally decreased at 12 h after lambing induction. The UMA diameter and volume increased from mid-gestation until 12 h before lambing induction. UA PSV and TAMAX increased from 60 until 90 days of pregnancy, while EDV, PSV and TAMAX decreased soon after parturition, with a further reduction at 7 days. The UA diameter and volume decreased during postpartum, stabilizing by 15 days after parturition. In conclusion, pregnancy is marked by progressive increase in uterine and umbilical blood flow, while lambing acutely diminishes umbilical vascular resistance, suggesting lack of progesterone influence on vasodilation. Conversely, puerperium is characterized by reduction in uterine blood supply mostly within the first 2 weeks of postpartum in sheep.