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J Korean Med Sci. 2002 Oct;17(5):663-8.

Extrauterine incubation of fetal goats applying the extracorporeal membrane oxygenation via umbilical artery and vein.

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Hamilton College of Oriental Medicine, Hamilton, New Zealand.


The fetus is an unstable subject for an isolated physiological and biochemical study. To study the fetus in a controlled and stable environment, a trial was done using 12 goat fetuses. Extrauterine incubation system was devised using an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation system. The system consisted of a venous reservoir with a servo-controlled roller pump and a membrane oxygenator. The extra-corporeal circuit and membrane oxygenator were primed with the maternal whole blood of 200 mL. Fetal umbilical cords was exposed by Cesarean section. Fetal umbilical arterial blood was drained via the drainage cannula. The drained blood was perfused to the oxygenator by the roller pump. The highly oxygenated and decarboxylated blood was returned to an umbilical vein via the perfusion catheter. The blood flow rate was controlled manually using a roller pump. Fetal heart rate, blood pressure, and electrocardiogram were continuously recorded. Gas analysis of drained and perfused blood was performed hourly. With this system, the fetuses were able to survive under fairly stable physiological condition for periods of up to 34 hr. The extrauterine incubation system used in this study could therefore be a encouraging future experimental model in researching the artificial placenta for premature fetuses.

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