Doppler ultrasonography in the middle cerebral artery and the umbilical artery of piglets: an exploratory study
Dullemen, M. van
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Abstract Objective: Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) is a common complication in human pregnancy. It is often caused by placental-insufficiency and can be diagnosed with Doppler velocimetry measurements in the umbilical and middle cerebral arteries. To study the effects, diagnosis and treatment of IUGR a animal model is necessary. In this study the possibility of using Doppler ultrasound in pig fetuses is examined. Methods: Twelve 3-5th parity sows between 55-110 days of gestation were scanned. In each sow two fetuses were recorded for 2-5 minutes. These recordings were observed and the percentage of fetal movement was calculated. Five 3-5th parity sows between 70-94 days of gestation were scanned 1-2 times a week for 3 weeks. With color flow Doppler the arteries were located in two fetuses per sow. Results: The percentage of fetal movement decreases with advanced gestation. However, no Doppler flow velocimetry measurements could be done due to constant fetal movement. Discussion: During the study it became clear that measuring Doppler velocimetry in pig fetuses is quite a challenge. To determine if the pig fetus is an accurate animal model which we can use to diagnose and treat intrauterine growth restriction in human fetuses, more research has to be done.