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Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol. 1999 Jun;13(6):437-45.

Altered hemodynamics in chick embryos after extraembryonic venous obstruction.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Academic Hospital Rotterdam, Erasmus University, The Netherlands.



To obtain insight into hemodynamics during abnormal cardiac development, a chick model was developed recently in which a spectrum of conotruncal anomalies, in combination with abnormal semilunar valves and/or pharyngeal arch artery malformations, was induced through extraembryonic venous obstruction (venous clip) at stage 17 (70-h incubation).


In chick embryos of stage 24 and stage 34 control (n = 8; n = 21) and with venous clip (n = 11; n = 18), we simultaneously measured dorsal flow velocities with a 20-MHz pulsed Doppler velocity meter and dorsal aortic (stage 24) and vitelline artery (stage 34) blood pressures with a servo-null system. After the hemodynamic recordings were collected, all 58 embryos were subjected to morphological examination. The hemodynamic data were correlated with the morphology. Statistical comparison was performed between control and experimental values.


At stage 24, venous clip embryos showed impaired looping. Physiologically, only a decrease in peak acceleration was found in these embryos (p < 0.05). At stage 34, a spectrum of conotruncal malformations was seen, that consisted of a ventricular septal defect in combination with abnormal semilunar valves and/or pharyngeal arch malformations. A dextroposed aorta in combination with a ventricular septal defect was diagnosed as double-outlet right ventricle. Hemodynamically, peak systolic and mean velocities, peak systolic and mean blood flows and stroke volume were increased while the heart rate was reduced after placement of the venous clip (p < 0.05). In both stages, pressure readings showed no statistically significant differences between control and experimental embryos.


Our findings suggest that the hemodynamic changes seen in venous clip embryos reflect the presence of a compensatory mechanism.

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