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Am J Physiol. 1986 May;250(5 Pt 1):E538-44.

Metabolic and circulatory studies of fetal lamb at midgestation.


Uterine and umbilical blood flows, the placental clearance of 3H2O, uterine and umbilical uptakes of oxygen, glucose, and lactate were measured in conscious, pregnant sheep at 71-81 days gestation. Fetal weight was 210 +/- 20 g and less than half placental weight. In relation to fetal weight, umbilical flow was 468 +/- 57 ml X min-1 X kg-1, more than double normal values for the mature fetus. Clearance of 3H2O was approximately 12% of the late pregnancy value but high in relation to fetal weight (280 +/- 23 ml X min-1 X kg-1). Fetal oxygen uptake was 10.9 +/- 0.6 ml X min-1 X kg-1, approximately 40% greater than in late gestation. Umbilical uptake of glucose was also relatively high, whereas lactate uptake was low. Uteroplacental tissues consumed more than 80% of the oxygen and glucose taken up by the pregnant uterus. However, uteroplacental utilization rates of oxygen and glucose as well as net lactate production were lower (approximately 50, 30, and 25%, respectively) than in late pregnancy, despite a larger placental mass (486 +/- 22 vs. 302 +/- 12 g).

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