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* Fetal circulation

The fetal circulation is the circulatory system of a


human fetus, often encompassing the entire
fetoplacental circulation which includes the
umbilical cord and the blood vessels within the
placenta that carry fetal blood.

Stages in Fetal
Circulation
The development of the cardiovascular system Begins to develop toward the end of the third week
Heart starts to beat at the beginning of the fourth
week
The critical period of heart development is from day 20
to day 50 after fertilization.
Many critical events occur during cardiac development,
and any deviation from this normal pattern can cause
congenital heart defects, if development of heart doesnt
occur properly.
However, we will concern ourselves with the events
surrounding the circulatory changes at birth.

Three shunts in the fetal


circulation
1. Ductus arteriosus
protects lungs against circulatory overload
allows the right ventricle to strengthen
hi pulmonary vascular resistance, low pulmonary
blood flow
carries mostly med oxygen saturated blood
2. Ductus venosus
fetal blood vessel connecting the umbilical vein to the
IVC
blood flow regulated via sphincter
carries mostly hi oxygenated blood
3. Foramen ovale
shunts highly oxygenated blood from right atrium to
left atrium

Changes at birth
With birth, a change from parallel flow
through the heart to a serial one gradually
takes place. The following changes must
occur:
1.The gas exchange takes place in the
baby's lungs.
2. By cutting the umbilical cord, the
placental circulation system is switched
off.
3. The fetal heart shunts become closed.

Renal circulation
The renal circulation is the flow of blood to and
through the kidneys to allow them to filter it before
returning it to the rest of the cardiovascular system.
Approximately 20% of the heart's output of blood
reaches the kidneys, far more than these organs
need to sustain themselves. The extra blood travels
through the filtration systems inside these organs to
remove waste products and adjust the balance of
the blood chemistry. Problems with renal circulation
can lead to health conditions like high blood
pressure, hormone imbalances, and edema, a
swelling caused by buildups of fluid.