Ovine hourly fetal urine production: Relation to fetal electrocortical activity

M. J.M. Nijland, M. G. Ross

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objective: Ultrasound studies of hourly urine production rate in human fetuses have suggested that a fall in urine production occurs in state 2F (fetal quiet sleep) secondary to a state-dependent decrease in renal blood flow. We sought to ascertain the relationship between fetal hourly urine production rate and behavioral state in the near-term ovine fetus, a model in which urine production and fetal brain activity can be directly measured. Methods: Six ewes with singleton pregnancies were prepared with vascular and amniotic fluid catheters. Fetuses were prepared with hindlimb vascular catheters, a bladder catheter, and biparietal ECoG electrodes. After at least 5 days of recovery (ga 130 ± 2 days; term = 145-150 days), each animal was monitored for a 6-h period. Urine production was measured by draining the bladder catheter through a drop counter and fetal ECoG was continuously recorded (sampling rate of 50 Hz). ECoG activity was analyzed using power spectral analysis and periods of active and quiet sleep identified using both signal amplitude and corresponding 85% spectral edge frequency. Results: Basal fetal arterial pH (7.36 ± 0.01), pO2 (22.0 ± 1.2 mmHg) and pCO2 (47.0 ± 1.6 mmHg) and plasma (295 ± 2 mOsm/kg) and urine (179 ± 3 mOsm/kg) osmolalities were within normal ranges. Active and quiet sleep comprised 50 ± 2 and 43 ± 1% time, respectively. There was no difference in hourly urine production rate in active sleep (21.4 ± 9.7 ml/h) and quiet sleep (18.8 ± 7.7 ml/h). Conclusions: 1) Hourly fetal urine production rate is independent of ECoG activity state in the near-term ovine fetus. 2) Assuming only minor species differences, ultrasound measurement of human fetal hourly urine production rate can be performed without concern for fetal neurobehavioral state changes. (C) 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)267-272
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Maternal-Fetal Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Neurobehavior
  • Renal function
  • Sheep
  • Urine production

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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