Heart and Fetal Asphyxia

  • J. Le Bidois
  • L. Fermont


Life is dependent on a permanent supply of oxygen. Cardiovascular function is particularly important in fetal oxygenation since low arterial O2 saturation must be compensated for by high blood flows. Oxygen is delivered to the fetus from the maternal circulation across the placenta. Umbilical blood flow, and thus the fetal heart performance, is one of the most important factors influencing oxygen uptake (Longo et al. 1972). The microsphere method, combined with the sampling of arterial and venous blood from these organs, has allowed the measurement of oxygen uptake in fetal brain, heart, liver, gastrointestinal tract, and kidney (Rudolph 1984). In the fetal lamb, the heart has the highest oxygen consumption in relation to tissue weight and accounts for about 12% of total oxygen consumption. Therefore there should be an appropriate response of the cardiovascular system to fetal asphyxia.


Myocardial Blood Flow Perinatal Asphyxia Ductus Venosus Fetal Lamb Ventricular Output 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Le Bidois
  • L. Fermont

There are no affiliations available

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