Acute anemic hypoxemia produces a transient depression in fetal respiratory activity

J. M. Bissonnette, A. R. Hohimer

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16 Scopus citations


Isovolemic anemia was produced in 11 unanesthetized fetal sheep by withdrawal of blood and replacement with saline-dextran. Fetal hematocrit fell from 36 ± 1 to 19 ± 1% (SE). Fetal breathing movements, which were present during 34.4 ± 5.5% of 3 h before the anemia, occurred 10.1 ± 5.3, 14.8 ± 4.4, and 27.1 ± 6.7% in the 3 h following. The anemia caused a fall in arterial O2 concentration from 8.4 ± 0.3 to 3.6 ± 0.1 vol% and sagittal vein PO2 fell from 15.4 ± 0.5 to 12.4 ± 0.3 Torr. Cerebral metabolic rate during the period of anemia was 2.9 ± 0.1 ml·100 g-1·min-1, which was unchanged from the control value of 3.0 ± 0.2 ml·100 g-1·min-1. Sagittal vein PCO2 (54.2 ± 1.4 Torr) remained constant after the fetus was made anemic. We conclude that respiratory activity in the sheep fetus is depressed by anemic hypoxemia but that the effect is transient.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1942-1946
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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