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J Dev Physiol. 1988 Oct;10(5):473-85.

Lung liquid secretion, flow and volume in response to moderate asphyxia in fetal sheep.

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  • 1Department of Physiology, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria, Australia.


The effects of moderate fetal asphyxia, induced by constriction of the maternal common internal iliac artery, on lung liquid secretion, tracheal fluid efflux and lung liquid volume have been investigated in unanaesthetized fetal sheep (111-142 days) in utero. During periods of fetal asphyxia the percent oxygen saturation, PO2, pH, and PCO2 of fetal carotid arterial blood changed from 57.2 +/- 1.3% (mean +/- SEM), 22.9 +/- 0.6 mmHg, 7.35 +/- 0.01 and 45.6 +/- 1.0 mmHg to 26.3 +/- 0.5% (P less than 0.001), 14.7 +/- 0.2 mmHg (P less than 0.001), 7.28 +/- 0.02, (P less than 0.001) and 47.8 +/- 0.4 mmHg (P less than 0.02), respectively. Fetal asphyxia, over 6 h, decreased the efflux of tracheal fluid from 7.07 +/- 0.47 ml/h to 3.97 +/- 0.36 ml/h (P less than 0.01) and, over 4 h, decreased the rate of lung liquid secretion from 9.42 +/- 1.76 ml/h to 4.91 +/- 1.54 ml/h (P less than 0.005), whereas it had no significant effect on lung liquid volume. The incidence of fetal breathing movements decreased from 52.9 +/- 2.5% to 22.6 +/- 3.5% during 6-h periods of fetal asphyxia. Thus, although fetal asphyxia decreased the net production of lung liquid, lung liquid volume was maintained probably, because the net efflux of fluid from the lungs via the trachea decreased to a similar extent.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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