The effect of profound repetitive prenatal asphyxial insults on the cardiopulmonary function of premature ventilated lambs was studied. Twenty-nine fetal lambs (~138 days gestational age) were exteriorized. In 16 of these lambs, the umbilical cord was occluded for 4 min then released for 10 min. This asphyxial episode was repeated until the arterial pH was ~7.00, and the mean arterial blood pressure was <40mmHg and falling. The 13 control lambs were simply exteriorized with the umbilical circulation intact. The lambs were then ventilated for 3-4 h. There were no differences between the control vs. asphyxiated lambs in pulmonary compliances (0.57 and 0.58 ml · cmH2O-1 · kg-1), wet-to-dry weight ratios (8.18 and 7.55), cardiac outputs (177.8 and 141.8 ml · kg-1 · min-1), surfactant-saturated phosphatidylcholine pool sizes, or atrial and/or ductal shunts. Asphyxia did not interfere with the redirection of blood away from atelectatic lung segments created by bronchial obstruction with balloon catheters. Also, although the bidirectional flux of protein into and out of the airways of these preterm lambs was large relative to term lambs, there was no effect of asphyxia on this protein leak. In this animal model, prenatal asphyxia did not impact negatively on the severity of the respiratory failure.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physiology (medical)