Effects of vascular elastosis on uterine blood flow and perfusion in anesthetized mares

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Abstract

In the uterus of the mare, data obtained using transrectal Doppler ultrasonography indicate that uterine blood flow (UBF) is dynamic and changes throughout the estrous cycle. Degenerative lesions in the uterus are associated with subfertility and infertility. Among these lesions, vascular elastosis has been reported in aged, multiparous, and infertile mares. Angiosis of the uterine vasculature could potentially compromise UBF. The objectives of this experiment are to determine levels of UBF and perfusion of reproductively healthy mares and compare them to levels of subfertile/infertile mares affected by uterine vascular elastosis. Twenty mares were classified on the basis of degree of vascular degeneration and stage of cycle. A fluorescent microsphere technique was used to measure reproductive organ perfusion, where microspheres were injected into the left ventricle of the heart and became trapped in capillary beds in proportion to blood flow and tissue perfusion. The reproductive tract was removed, sectioned, and the fluorescent intensity evaluated to measure blood flow and perfusion. Additionally, full-thickness samples of the uterine wall were examined postmortem to further assess the degree of vascular degeneration in all layers of uterine wall. The mean value of uterine perfusion for the control mares during estrus (n=5) was higher (P<0.01) than that during diestrus (n=5); 17.6 and 11.9mL/min/100g, respectively. For the subfertile/infertile mares, the mean value of tissue perfusion was not different (P>0.05) during estrus (n=5) and diestrus (n=5); 5.9 and 7.2mL/min/100g, respectively. Uterine perfusion in subfertile/infertile mares affected by elastosis was lower than that of control mares during both estrus (P<0.01) and diestrus (P<0.01). The differences in baseline levels of perfusion between the control and elastosis groups indicate that elastosis of the uterine vasculature is associated with decreased uterine perfusion during both phases of the estrous cycle. In the uterus, a compromise in UBF could have implications in endometrial glandular development, postbreeding endometritis, uterine clearance, development of the conceptus, and overall fertility.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)988-994
Number of pages7
JournalTheriogenology
Volume83
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2015

Keywords

  • Blood flow
  • Elastosis
  • Endometriosis
  • Equine
  • Mare
  • Uterus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Equine
  • Food Animals
  • Small Animals

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