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J Dev Physiol. 1986 Aug;8(4):237-45.

Effect of reduced uterine blood flow on fetal and maternal cortisol.

Abstract

We have measured the changes in fetal and maternal plasma concentrations of cortisol in relation to blood gases and percent oxygen saturation during 2- and 4-h episodes of reversibly reduced uterine blood flow in sheep between 120 days gestation and term. During that period of reduced uterine blood flow there was a significant decrease in fetal arterial percent oxygen saturation (SaO2), PO2 and pH. Fetal SaO2 decreased from 59.5 +/- 3.2% to 31.8% +/- 2.8% by 15 min, 32.9 +/- 2.9% by 60 min, and 33.5 +/- 2.9% by 120 min. Fetal PO2 decreased from 3.2 +/- 0.1 KPa to 2.0 +/- 0.2 KPa by 15 min, 2.2 +/- 0.2 KPa by 60 min and 2.3 +/- 0.1 KPa by 120 min. Fetal pH decreased from 7.36 +/- 0.01 to 7.30 +/- 0.03 by 15 min, 7.27 +/- 0.02 by 60 min and 7.25 +/- 0.03 by 120 min. During the period of reduced uterine blood flow, fetal plasma concentrations of cortisol increased from 37.1 +/- 10.8 nmol/l to 53.3 +/- 9.2 nmol/l by 15 min, 49.2 +/- 11.4 nmol/l by 60 min and 43.3 +/- 9.0 nmol/l by 120 min. The greatest percentage increase in fetal plasma concentrations of cortisol occurred in fetuses of 126-139 days gestation. There was no significant change in maternal blood gases, SaO2 or plasma concentrations of cortisol. These experiments demonstrate that there is a significant increase in fetal plasma concentrations of cortisol in response to reductions in uterine blood flow from as early as 120 days gestation.

PMID:
3093560
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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