Fetal endoscopic ('Fetendo') surgery: the relationship between insufflating pressure and the fetoplacental circulation.
Application of video-endoscopic surgery to the gravid uterus provides a new treatment option for the fetus with a correctable congenital anomaly. "Fetendo" surgery requires temporary enlargement of the uterine cavity to create a working space. Volume expansion of the amniotic space raises intrauterine pressure, which could increase placental vascular resistance and thereby reduce placental blood flow. To test this hypothesis, the authors developed a fetal sheep model to examine the relationship between insufflating pressure and flow in the placental circulation. Fetoplacental blood flow was measured via ultrasonic flow probes placed around the fetal common umbilical artery and the maternal uterine artery in five anesthetized 120-day-gestation ewes. Invasive feto-maternal monitoring permitted synchronous measurement of fetal mean arterial pressure, fetal central venous pressure, maternal mean arterial pressure, amniotic pressure, and fetal oxygen saturation, with calculated values for fetal and maternal placental vascular resistance. Amniotic pressure was raised from 10 mm Hg to 40 mm Hg in 5-mm Hg increments by a combination of saline amnioinfusion and external uterine compression. At amniotic pressures of 20 mm Hg or less, placental blood flow was preserved; however, elevation of amniotic pressure above 20 mm Hg resulted in a significant decrease in placental flow, with concomitant fetal hypoxia. The authors conclude that the relationship between intrauterine pressure, flow in the placental circulation, and fetal oxygen delivery must be considered when selecting intrauterine insufflation pressures for hysteroscopic intervention.
Skarsgard, ED; Bealer, JF; Meuli, M; Adzick, NS; Harrison, MR
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