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Assessment of feline fetal viability by conceptus echobiometry and triplex Doppler ultrasonography of uterine and umbilical arteries

Brito, Adriel B., Miranda, Stefânia A., Ruas, Marcone R., Santos, Regiane R., Domingues, Sheyla F.S.
Animal reproduction science 2010 v.122 no.3-4 pp. 276-281
cats, fetus, viability, breeds, uterus, conceptus, arteries, umbilical cord, fetal development, ultrasonography, blood flow, pregnancy, umbilical arteries
The aims of the present study were to: (1) evaluate blood flow in the uterine (UA) and umbilical arteries (Uma) in the pregnant queen, by measuring the resistive index (RI) and pulsatility index (PI); (2) to note the presence or absence of the early diastolic notch and diastolic flow in the UA and Uma flow waveforms, respectively; and (3) perform conceptus echobiometry for fetal growth assessment during pregnancy. Eight healthy pregnant domestic Brazilian Shorthair queens were examined from Days 10 to 50 after mating (mating=Day 0). Triplex Doppler and B-mode ultrasonography were used to assess blood flow and conceptus echobiometry. All pregnancies ended with a normal parturition and birth of live kittens. Prior to parturition, all conceptus dimensions increased significantly, whereas RI and PI peaked between Days 33 and 43 followed by a decrease (P <0.05). The PI least on Day 50. The RI and PI of Uma decreased (P <0.05) during two periods in the fetal development, i.e. from Days 22 to 40 (0.79±0.01 and 1.64±0.04), and from Days 41 to 50 (0.75±0.01 and 1.39±0.05), representing the increased Uma perfusion. Both the complete disappearance of the early diastolic notch in the UA, and the appearance of diastolic flow in the Uma occurred on Day 42±1. It was concluded fetal echobiometry, UA and Uma perfusion, were important end points to assess fetal viability in queens. Furthermore, the current reference values provided a baseline for monitoring normal and abnormal pregnancies in queens.