Betamethasone effects on ovine uterine and umbilical placental perfusion at the dose used to enhance fetal lung maturation

Matthias Schwab, Turhan Coksaygan, Peter W. Nathanielsz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: The purpose of this study was to examine glucocorticoid effects on umbilical placental perfusion. Study design: Pregnant sheep instrumented with uterine and umbilical ultrasound transit-time flow probes received 2 doses of 12 mg betamethasone (n = 6) or saline (n = 5) intramuscularly 24 hours apart. Results: Maternal blood pressure and uterine flow did not change during glucocorticoid exposure. Fetal blood pressure increased, and umbilical resistance showed a transient increase after each injection (P < .05), followed by an increase of umbilical flow (P < .05) that was closely correlated to an increase in fetal heart rate (r = 0.85, P < .001), which determines cardiac output of the developing heart. Umbilical waveform indices were decreased over the entire treatment period, indicating a decrease of resistance in the fetoplacental microcirculation (P < .05). Conclusion: Fetoplacental perfusion during glucocorticoid exposure is not limiting for nutrition exchange. Clinical interpretation of Doppler waveform indices needs to be interpreted with caution because they do not reflect dynamics of umbilical placental perfusion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)572-579
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Volume194
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2006
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Fetus
  • Glucocorticoids
  • Placental perfusion
  • Sheep

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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