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Theriogenology. 2003 Sep 1;60(4):597-605.

Transrectal Doppler sonography of uterine blood flow during early pregnancy in mares.

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  • 1Department of Animal Reproduction, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Munich, Munich 80539, Germany. Heinrich.Bollwein@gyn.vetmed.uni-muenchen.de


Transrectal color Doppler sonography was used for the noninvasive investigation of uterine blood flow in five mares. Both the left and right uterine arteries were scanned to obtain blood flow velocity waveforms during two consecutive estrous cycles and two early pregnancies in each mare. Blood flow was expressed as the time-averaged maximum velocity (TAMV) and the resistance index (RI). In all pregnancies the embryonic vesicle could be detected for the first time on Day 11 (day of ovulation: Day 0). No differences in mean TAMV and RI values of both uterine arteries were observed in comparison to the corresponding days of the estrous cycle until Day 11 of pregnancy (P>0.05). From Day 11 onwards, mean TAMV values were higher and mean RI values lower in pregnant mares than in cyclic mares (P<0.05). During the estrous cycle TAMV and RI values did not differ between the right and left uterine arteries (P>0.05). From Days 15 to 29 of pregnancy, TAMV values were consistently higher and RI values lower in the uterine artery ipsilateral to the conceptus and they had a more distinct rise and decline, respectively, compared to the contralateral uterine artery (P<0.05). The variance component estimates for the effect of mare on TAMV and RI values during pregnancy were 60 and 53%, respectively, and for the effect of day of pregnancy, they were 29 and 34%, respectively (P<0.0001). Within mares there were no significant differences between the two pregnancies with regard to blood flow (P>0.05). The results show that uterine blood supply increases in mares during the second week of pregnancy compared to cyclic mares. Furthermore there are individual variations in blood flow between mares.

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