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Prenat Diagn. 2002 Jan;22(1):48-51.

The effect of a systemic arteriovenous fistula on the pulmonary arterial blood pressure in the fetal sheep.

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  • 1Maternité, Hôpital Necker-Enfants Malades, AP-HP-Université Paris V, 149 rue de Sèvres, 75015 Paris, France.


In order to investigate whether systemic arteriovenous fistula occurring during the fetal period could induce pulmonary hypertension at birth, a fistula was surgically created between the carotid artery and jugular vein of fetal lambs at 120 days' gestation. Mean pressures in the left pulmonary artery, aorta, atrium and ventricles were measured at birth in seven experimental animals and in five control animals. Mean left pulmonary pressure was significantly higher in the lambs with fistula as compared with the control group, suggesting that prenatal occurrence of systemic arteriovenous fistula may induce fetal pulmonary hypertension. The present study provides a new animal model that could be relevant for the study of mechanisms regulating pulmonary vascular tone in the perinatal period.

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