Pulse wave Doppler ultrasound of umbilical cord in experimentally induced pregnancy toxemia in sheep


Research in Veterinary Science, vol.160, pp.18-25, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 160
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.rvsc.2023.05.004
  • Journal Name: Research in Veterinary Science
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, EMBASE, Food Science & Technology Abstracts, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database
  • Page Numbers: pp.18-25
  • Keywords: Doppler, End diastolic velocity, Peak systolic velocity, Pregnancy toxemia, Umbilical cord
  • Ondokuz Mayıs University Affiliated: Yes


Contrary to its widespread use in human cases, the use of Doppler ultrasonography is only recently becoming prevalent in farm animals. This study aimed to determine the effects of maternal metabolic and clinical changes on fetal hemodynamics during pregnancy toxemia with the doppler examination of umbilical cord. In the study twenty ewes with a single healthy fetus were included in the study. At the end of the 120th day of pregnancy, 20 single-bearing pregnant ewes were randomly categorized into two groups. Ewes in the control group were fed to meet all nutritional requirements. On the other contrary, the experimental ewes were fed to meet equivalent to 50 % of the daily needs and then fasted for 96 h. Doppler ultrasonographic examinations of umbilical cord were performed once every two days and once a day during fasting. Beta hydroxybutyric acid (BHBA) concentration was measured by taking blood from sheep on examination days. Pulse systolic velocity (PSV), end diastolic velocity (EDV), PSV/EDV, pulsatility index (PI), resistance index (RI), and fetal heart rate (FHR) as well as BHBA values and how those parameters has changed over time (time by treatment effect) due to energy deprivation during pregnancy were evaluated using repeated measure analysis of variance. No clinical signs were observed in both toxemia and control groups during restricted feeding. BHBA concentration increased and there was a significant time, time by treatment and main effect of treatment effect between groups. No significant main effect of treatment and time by treatment interaction was observed in the changes of PI, RI, FHR, and systolic/diastolic velocity values over time in both groups. FHR was reduced over time, and there was a significant time effect in FHR in both groups. Although doppler indices didn't increase, both PSV and EDV values increased significantly in the pregnancy toxemia group compared with the controls (Time P = 0.03, time by treatment interaction P < 0.05) and the main effect of treatment P < 0.05). The marked increase in blood velocities (PSV and EDV) in the umbilical cord is probably due to the compensatory functioning for excessive energy deprivation of the fetus. Therefore, PSV and EDV might be a valuable indicator for evaluating the fetus's health status during the management of the PT.