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Placenta. 1997 May;18(4):287-93.

Determination of intervillous flow in early pregnancy.

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Division of Perinatology, Ottawa General Hospital, Ontario, Canada.


The process of placentation in the macaque has been extensively studied and found to resemble closely that observed in the human. In this model, histopathologically, intervillous flow is anticipated from week 3 post-conception. We set out to document the nature and onset of intervillous flow in the macaque in vivo using colour Doppler imaging (CDI), colour Doppler energy (CDE) and pulsed-wave Doppler (PWD). Pregnant females were assessed between 15-50 days gestation (term = 165 days) with an Acuson 128/XP10 high-resolution ultrasound scanner, using a 7-MHz linear array probe. The placenta, subjacent decidua and myometrium were assessed using CDI and CDE. Specific regions of flow were interrogated using PWD; the resulting flow velocity waveforms were stored and quantified using conventional Doppler indices. B-mode sonography was able to demonstrate the well-defined placental-decidual interface observed in this species; CDI and CDE clearly visualized the uteroplacental vasculature. Spiral arteries were followed to their point of discharge into the intervillous space, and PWD at these sites obtained a characteristic flow velocity waveform. The indices obtained confirmed a flow of low resistance and pulsatility throughout the gestation studied. Flow within the intervillous space was noted from day 20 of gestation.

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