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Changes in renal hemodynamics of undernourished fetuses appear earlier than IUGR evidences

  • A. Barbero (a1), C. Porcu (a2), A. Spezzigu (a3), S. Succu (a2), M. Dattena (a4), M. Gallus (a4), G. Molle (a4), S. Naitana (a2), A. Gonzalez-Bulnes (a5) and F. Berlinguer (a2)...


The present study used a sheep model of intrauterine growth restriction, combining maternal undernutrition and twinning, to determine possible markers of early damage to the fetal kidney. The occurrence of early deviations in fetal hemodynamics which may be indicative of changes in blood perfusion was assessed by Doppler ultrasonography. A total of 24 sheep divided in two groups were fed with the same standard grain-based diet but fulfilling either their daily maintenance requirements for pregnancy (control group; n=12, six singleton and six twin pregnancies) or only the 50% of such quantity (food-restricted group; n=12; four singleton and eight twin pregnancies). All the fetuses were assessed by both B-mode and Doppler ultrasonography at Day 115 of pregnancy. Fetal blood supply was affected by maternal undernutrition, although there were still no evidences of brain-sparing excepting in fetuses at greatest challenge (twins in underfed pregnancies). However, there were early changes in the blood supply to the kidneys of underfed fetuses and underfed twins evidenced decreases in kidney size.


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Author for correspondence: F. Berlinguer, Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Sassari, Via Vienna 2, 07100 Sassari, Italy. E-mail:


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These authors contributed equally to this work.



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Changes in renal hemodynamics of undernourished fetuses appear earlier than IUGR evidences

  • A. Barbero (a1), C. Porcu (a2), A. Spezzigu (a3), S. Succu (a2), M. Dattena (a4), M. Gallus (a4), G. Molle (a4), S. Naitana (a2), A. Gonzalez-Bulnes (a5) and F. Berlinguer (a2)...


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