Blood pressure and HR in the fetal lamb: Relationship to hypoglycemia, hypoxemia, and growth restriction

Salha S. Daniel, Raymond I. Stark, Michael M. Myers, Pamela J. Tropper, Young Ihl Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


We examined blood pressure and heart rate (HR) in relation to glucose and arterial PO2 (Pa(O2)) at ~121 days (early) and at ~140 days (late) gestation in 12 growth-restricted and 10 control fetal lambs. Mild growth restriction (relative to maternal weight) was produced by withdrawal of 25 ml/day of maternal blood during the second half of pregnancy (P < 0.05). Fetuses from this model are hypoglycemic during early and late gestation but hypoxemic only during late study. Mean systolic and diastolic pressures in the experimental group were ~8.0 mmHg lower than the corresponding values in controls at both studies (P < 0.05). Fetal HR (FHR) was 15.4 beats/min lower (P < 0.05) in 10 but was higher than control in 2 experimental fetuses that were also not growth restricted. There were significant correlations between late systolic pressure and HR and Pa(O2) (r = 0.54, P = 0.046 and r = 0.50, P = 0.049, respectively) and between FHR and blood pressure and birth weight/maternal weight (P < 0.05). We conclude that, in this model, fetal blood pressure and HR may serve as good indicators of hypoxemia and growth restriction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)R1415-R1421
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number5 40-5
StatePublished - Nov 1996


  • fetal heart rate
  • small for gestational age

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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