Repro 9.1 Fetal Physiology Flashcards Preview

Semester 4 > Repro 9.1 Fetal Physiology > Flashcards

Flashcards in Repro 9.1 Fetal Physiology Deck (46):
1

Where does blood enter and leave the foetus?

Through the liver in the umbilical artery and vein

2

Where does the foetal blood reconnect with the maternal circulation?

Umbilical vein returns from the placenta to combine with the venous drainage of the gut

3

Why does the foetal circulation need to be modified?

The lungs aren't functional so the foetus is dependent on the mother for oxygen. In the absence of modification the oxygenated blood passing to the foetus would pass through the liver and the lungs and mix with venous blood from the body and brain before it reaches the systemic arteries; thus losing most of its oxygen

4

How is the liver avoided when blood enters the foetus?

Shunt through the ductus venosus

5

What causes the decrease in oxygen saturation between entry to the foetus and arrival at the right atrium?

Mixing with venous blood from the lower body - this is ok because the lower body is relatively small and not that active metabolically (70% -> 65%)

6

How is oxygenated foetal blood prevented from mixing with the venous blood from the brian?

Crista dividens directs oxygenated blood towards the foramen ovale which shunts blood from the right atrium to the left atrium, bypassing the right ventricle

7

What happens to blood flowing from the foetal brain to the right heart?

Passes through the right heart towards the lungs

8

Why is there high resistance to blood flow in the lungs?

They are not yet active - collapsed

9

What happens to blood flowing from the right heart to the lungs as a result of this high resistance?

Shunts from the pulmonary artery to the aorta through the ductus arteriosus, joining the aorta distal to the arterial outflow of the brain.

10

Is the foetal left or right atrium at higher pressure?

Right - blood shunts right to left

11

What causes the pressure in the right atrium and pulmonary artery to be higher than that in the left and aorta?

Collapsed lungs

12

How does the oxygen in the foetus differ to that in the adult?

PO2 is lower in foetus (4kPa compared to 13.3kPa in adults)
Foetus is adapted to a degree of hypoxia that would be fatal in a normal adult

13

How does foetal haemoglobin compare to that in adults?

Different haemoglobin with much higher affinity for O2 so will carry more at lower partial pressures (70% sat at 4kPa, only 45% in adults)
Higher levels of haemoglobin - 18g/dl
Has no beta chains so does not readily bind 2,3 DPG

14

What enables transfer of O2 to the foetus?

Low diffusion resistance - barrier small as vili are in contact with maternal blood
Partial pressure gradient of 9kPa
Higher affinity of foetal Hb
Double bohr effect in maternal and foetal circulations

15

What determines the transport rate of O2 to the foetus?

Umbilical arterial pO2 so it gets what it needs as foetal stores only last approx 2 mins

16

How do maternal CO2 levels change during pregnancy?

Lowered by hyperventilation stimulated by progesterone which enables the foetus to have relatively normal pCO2
(the foetus cannot tolerate any higher CO2 or acid-base problems arise)

17

how regularly does the foetus make breathing movements?

Every 1-4hrs each day

18

Why does the foetus make breathing movements?

'Practice'/build up muscles for life after birth
Draws amniotic fluid into and out of the lungs to 'flush' them

19

When do the lungs start secreting surfactant?

week 20 but production significantly increased after week 30 when the alveoli open in significant number and the surface area dramatically increases

20

What does surfactant do?

Lowers alveolar surface tension such that inspiration is made with less effort post-natally

21

What is respiratory distress of the new born?

Premature babies tend to have a deficiency of surfactant so breathing is much more difficult

22

How is the foetus provided with glucose?

Relatively high levels in mother - diffuses across placenta

23

When does the foetus begin to secrete insulin?

Week 10

24

How does the foetus remove bilirubin?

Cannot be excreted by the foetal gut therefore it is not conjugated and so passes to the maternal circulation

25

Why is neonate jaundice fairly common?

Bilirubin is not conjugated by the foetus and it may not be able to conjugate it immediately after birth so jaundice results

26

How is the majority of the amniotic fluid produced in late pregnancy?

Foetal kidneys produce urine, particularly late in gestation

27

How much urine does the foetal kidneys produce?

@ wk 25, 100ml/day hypotonic urine
@ term, 500ml/day

28

What happens to the urine produced by the foetal kidneys?

Forms the amniotic fluid which is constantly swallowed so the gut absorbs water and electrolytes, leaving debris to accumulate and together with the debris formed from the developing gut accumulates in the foetal large bowel as meconium

29

When is menconium excreted?

Usually only when the foetus is in distress (e.g. if hypoxic)

30

What are the components of the amniotic fluid?

Cells from the foetus and amnion and a variety of proteins

31

What is the maximum volume of amniotic fluid and when is this reached?

1L at 38 weeks (may fall as labour nears)

32

What is an amniocentesis?

Removal of some of the amniotic fluid to perform biochemical and cytological studies on it to assess the presence of neural tube defects and chromosomal abnormalities

33

What is the amniotic fluid derived from in early pregnancy?

By dialysis of foetal and maternal extracellular components with some exchange occurring across the foetal skin

34

What is different about foetal skin?

It is non-keratinised

35

How is the amniotic fluid volume assessed?

Ultrasound

36

What is polyhydraminos and what might cause it?

Excessive amniotic fluid
Oeophageal or duodenal atresia or CNS abnormalities

37

What is a low volume of amniotic fluid called and what might cause it?

Oligohydraminos
Suggestive of poor or absent renal function or reduced placental function such as in pre-eclampsia

38

At what stage in development is withdrawal from pain recognised?

15 weeks

39

When do thalamo-coritical projections reach maturity?

Week 29

40

When is myelination of corticospinal tracts complete?

Post-natally but musculoskeletal movements are essential for foetal growth

41

What promotes foetal corticosteroid production and why is this important?

Placental progesterone
The steoid is vital for foetal physiology esp CVS function

42

How and when are nervous system development, bone and hair growth stimulated?

Mediated via thyroid hormones active from week 12

43

What does the foetal liver do?

Stores large amounts of glycogen which is reflected in changes in foetal circumference

44

What induces the neonate to take its first breath?

Combination of physical trauma and cold temperature

45

What happens as a result of the neonate taking its first breath?

Dramatic reduction in pulmonary vascular resistance and a dramatic rise in arterial pO2.
The fall in resistance causes the left atrial pressure to rise in respect to right so closing the foramen oval
Smooth muscle sensitive to pO2 in the wall of the ductus arteriosus contracts to close the ductus

Both shunts close off completely within a few weeks

46

When does the ductus venosus close and why?

Remains open for several days after birth but closes within 2-3 months
A sphincter in the vessel constricts shortly after birth re-directing all blood through the liver sinusoids
This is regulated by pO2 levels