Ventriculo-vascular interaction in the normal development of the fetal circulation

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OBJECTIVES: To examine cardiovascular physiology in the healthy fetus during normal development. DESIGN: Twenty normal fetuses were studied longitudinally from 20 weeks to term. Serial echocardiography was performed, and arterial and venous diameter pulse wave characteristics and aortic pulse wave propagation velocity (PWV) were examined in the thoracic descending aorta (AoD) and inferior caval vein (IVC) using an ultrasonic phase-locked echo-tracking system. Statistical analyses included ANOVA, paired t-test and logistic regression where appropriate. RESULTS: Aortic PWV, maximum incremental and late decremental velocities increased with gestation while the relative pulse amplitude decreased, reflecting falling distal impedance. There was a linear increase in cardiac preload and relative pulse amplitude in the IVC with gestation that correlated significantly with the presence of end-diastolic flow in the pulmonary artery and improvement in right ventricular diastolic function. CONCLUSIONS: Non-invasive concurrent assessment of preload, ventricular function and impedance are possible in the fetus and may prove useful in the longitudinal study of fetal adaptation to pathophysiological changes.


  • Helena Gardiner
  • Jana Brodszki
  • Anders Eriksson
  • Håkan Stale
  • Karel Marsal
Enheter & grupper

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Reproduktionsmedicin och gynekologi
  • Klinisk medicin


Sidor (från-till)97-106
TidskriftEarly Human Development
Utgåva nummer2
StatusPublished - 2001
Peer review utfördJa