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Doppler evaluation of maternal and fetal vessels during normal gestation in the bitch

Di Salvo, P., Bocci, F., Zelli, R., Polisca, A.
Research in veterinary science 2006 v.81 no.3 pp. 382-388
veterinary medicine, ultrasonography, pregnancy, blood vessels, fetus, females, dogs, maternal-fetal transfer, placenta, uterus, umbilical cord, umbilical arteries
The aim of this work is to evaluate the haemodynamic characteristics of maternal and fetal vessels during normal pregnancy in bitches, using Colour and Pulsed wave Doppler ultrasonography, in order to obtain more information about maternal and fetal circulation. The blood waveforms of the uteroplacental arteries, aorta, caudal cava vein and umbilical cord of the fetuses were recorded weekly in 16 pregnant bitches. Also, the measurements of Peak Systolic, End Diastolic Velocities, Resistance and Pulsatility Indices were carried out. Uteroplacental blood flow was biphasic while the ones of the umbilical artery and aorta were first systolic and then diastolic. The cava showed a typical waveform of venous vessels. During gestation the EDV and PSV of fetal vessels increased (α < 0.05) while the PI and RI of all vessels examined decreased (α < 0.05) except for the IP of the Aorta. The Doppler ultrasonography was used to study the characteristics of maternal and fetal vessel flow and their progressive changes during pregnancy. This study can be considered a further contribution in diagnosing and monitoring high-risk pregnancies in Veterinary Medicine.