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Effect of inhibition of prostaglandin synthesis on breathing movements and pulmonary blood flow in fetal sheep



Effect of inhibition of prostaglandin synthesis on breathing movements and pulmonary blood flow in fetal sheep



Journal of Applied Physiology 78(2): 531-538



During transition from fetal to extrauterine life, respiration increases in incidence and magnitude as pulmonary blood flow dramatically increases. To determine whether alterations in pulmonary blood flow in utero are directly related to alterations in fetal breathing movements (FBM), we studied six chronically instrumented fetal sheep late in gestation to assess the effects of continuous FBM caused by a 4-h infusion of meclofenamate, a prostaglandin synthase inhibitor, on mean pulmonary blood flow to the fetus. We found a striking increase in FBM from 46 +- 15% (SD) of the time during control to gt 85% of the time by 1 h (P lt 0.001), with the fetuses exhibiting continuous FBM by the last 1 h of infusion. The mean pulmonary blood flow also increased significantly during the first 90 min of the infusion as the incidences of FBM were increasing (26 +- 14 and 56 +- 23 ml cntdot min-1 cntdot kg-1 for control and infusion, respectively; P lt 0.01). Despite the simultaneous initial increase in FBM and mean pulmonary blood flow, the increase in left pulmonary artery blood flow was not sustained and decreased back to baseline by 2 h, even though the incidence of FBM continued to increase at this time. During the infusion, the mean pulmonary blood flow was not different between the presence or absence of FBM. There were no changes in fetal heart rate or pulmonary or systemic blood pressures during the infusion nor in arterial pH or blood gas tensions. We conclude that this increase in mean pulmonary blood flow in utero was not solely related to the increase in breathing movements.

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Accession: 008535536

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 7759422

DOI: 10.1152/jappl.1995.78.2.531



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