Animal Reproduction (AR)
Animal Reproduction (AR)
Original Article

Simultaneous umbilical blood flow during normal pregnancy in sheep and goat foetuses using non-invasive colour Doppler ultrasound

Mohammed Ahmed Elmetwally. Sabine Meinecke-Tillmann

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The characteristics of umbilical blood flow (UM) was investigated using 18 (25 foetuses) pregnant ewes and 20 (41 foetus) pregnant goats transrectal non-invasive color Doppler ultrasonographic examinations were done frequently between 2 and 8 week after breeding and then transabdominally until parturition. Colour Doppler velocimetery includes blood flow volume (BFV), time averaged maximum velocity (TAMV), resistance index (RI), pulsatility index (PI), time average of mean (TAMEAN) and impedance of blood flow (PS/ED or AB ratio). Also a qualitative evaluation of UM blood flow indicating increases (P < 0.001) in BFV, TAMV and TAMEAN were observed until 19 week of pregnancy in foetuses of sheep and goats and then those values decreased (P < 0.001) from 19 week until parturition. Conversely, UM-PI, RI and PS/ED decreased (P < 0.002- 0.01) until 19 week and then increased (P < 0.01-0.0001). The umbilical artery BFV increased (P < 0.0001) during pregnancy from 7.27 ± 0.82 ml/min in sheep vs. 4.96 ± 0.54 ml/min in goats at 6 week of gestation to 700.51 ± 31.05 ml/min (~100 fold) in sheep vs. 665.56 ± 48.22 ml/min (~133 fold) in goats at 19 week and then decreased (P < 0.0001) to 350.561 ± 72.15 ml/min in sheep vs. 215.17 ± 35.06 ml/min in goats at 20 week. The absence of end diastolic velocity (EDV) of umbilical artery blood flow was detected in both species between 4 and 12 week of pregnancy. Results of this study clearly show that the non-invasive colour Doppler sonography can be used successfully to assess umbilical blood flow in foetuses of pregnant sheep and goats. These may provide guidelines for assessing the state of intrauterine fetal growth retardation in pregnancies of sheep and goats.


colour Doppler sonography, foetus, goats, umbilical, sheep


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