Fetal & Adult Circulation: Comparison & Distribution

by Thad Wilson, PhD

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    Reproductive Endocrinology, Birth and Breastfeeding. Let's start off by comparing and contrasting the fetal circulation with the adult circulation. This is going to be an important process because during birth there are a lot of things that are changing especially for the fetal circulation. So let's start with the items that are very different between the two, fetus and adult. The big ones are the lungs. The fetus will receive about 6% of cardiac output while the adult gets 100% of cardiac output goes through the lungs, big difference. In the kidneys, about 2% goes to the fetus and a 20% to the adult, so about a tenfold change. Finally in the gut, splanchnic system deliver about 7% of cardiac output goes to the fetus and 30% to the adult. The final really big change that happens between the fetus and the adult is the placenta. The fetus has 40% of cardiac output going to the placenta while in the adult if it's not the mom, none and so this is a very big difference in terms of a vascular bed that the adult doesn't even have to take into account but the fetus needs to take over a third of the blood flow going to that locale. So let's talk about why these differences exist. So there are a few structural differences in the fetus that preferentially shunt blood to different locales. The first is the foramen ovale. This is a hole in the heart that allows flow to travel through it and bypasses the lung to a great extent. Then we have the ductus arteriosus and a ductus venosus and especially the venosus is going to change what flow goes to the splanchnic system or to the gut. Finally we have the placenta in the circulation for the...

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Fetal & Adult Circulation: Comparison & Distribution by Thad Wilson, PhD is from the course Reproductive Physiology.

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Kidney
    2. Brain
    3. Musculoskeletal
    4. Placenta

    Author of lecture Fetal & Adult Circulation: Comparison & Distribution

     Thad Wilson, PhD

    Thad Wilson, PhD

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