PGE2 (2 μg/min) has been infused for 1h into the fetal jugular vein of 8 chronically catheterized fetuses on 13 occasions from 112 to 138 days gestation. Infusion of ethanol vehicle alone was conducted in fetuses from 111 - 139 days gestation. PGE2 administration produced a significant increase in fetal plasma cortisol after 30 min. No significant change was observed in fetal plasma prolactin concentration. Fetal plasma ACTH concentration was significantly elevated above resting concentration after 30 min. of PGE2 infusion. Metabolic clearance rate of PGE2 was 860 ml/min or 350 ml/kg/min. Intrauterine pressure was not changed during the infusion at any gestational age.
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