Use of ultrasonic Doppler waveforms to estimate changes in uterine artery blood flow and vessel compliance.

L. R. Waite, S. P. Ford, D. F. Young, Alan J Conley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Previous data from our laboratory have demonstrated that uterine blood flow (UBF) and uterine arterial smooth muscle tone vary regularly during the estrous cycle of the cow. Uterine blood flow is highest and uterine arterial tone is lowest at estrus, whereas UBF is lowest and uterine arterial tone is highest during the luteal phase of the cycle. Blood flow through arteries is highly pulsatile; changes in arterial wall properties affect shape of the velocity waveform. This study was conducted to evaluate changes in uterine arterial velocity waveforms throughout the estrous cycle of the cow and to relate these changes to fluctuations in UBF and concentrations of estrogen and(or) progesterone in systemic blood. Pulsatile velocity waveforms were obtained daily from pulsed-wave ultrasonic probes placed surgically on the middle uterine artery of five beef cows exhibiting estrous cycles of normal duration (d 0 = day of estrus). Velocity waveforms varied regularly during the estrous cycle of each cow in association with changes in UBF and steroid concentrations. Further, two distinct velocity waveform shapes were observed during the estrous cycle. The first waveform shape, which was observed during periods of high UBF (d -4 to +4 of the estrous cycle), was characteristic of a highly compliant vessel and was associated with a high estrogen:progesterone ratio. The second waveform shape, which was observed from d 7 to 14 of the estrous cycle, was characteristic of a less compliant vessel and was associated with a depressed estrogen:progesterone ratio. These data suggest that compliance of the uterine artery changes during the estrous cycle in association with the changing estrogen:progesterone ratio in blood.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2450-2458
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Animal Science
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1990
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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