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Fetal Circulation – outline notes

By at October 5, 2011 | 5:59 am | Print

The lungs of a fetus are non-functional. There are special structures that allow blood flow to bypass the fetal lungs. Not until birth do the lungs gain their normal function.

Umbilical Cord
Umbilical Vein – high Oxygen and nutrients from mother to fetus
Umbilical Arteries (two) – Carbon dioxide and waste from fetus to mother


Pathway of Blood in Fetus

High Oxygenated blood from mother flows through umbilical vein to fetal heart
 -some perfuses liver
-most goes to inferior vena cava via ductus venosus and then to R. Atrium

Blood can take two paths, ultimately to bypass non-functional fetal lungs

1. Right atrium —- foramen ovale —- Left atrium —- aorta —- systemic circulation —- umbilical
arteries —– placenta

2. Right atrium —- Right ventricle —- pulmonary trunk —- ductus arteriosus —- aorta —- umbilical
arteries —- placenta

*foramen ovale and ductus arteriosus are special structures that allow for specific fetal blood flow.

After Birth
foramen ovale becomes fossa ovalis
ductus arteriosus becomes ligamentum arteriosum

Misc Articles Physiology outline notes ,

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