Rinat Abramovitch1,2, Nathalie Corchia1, Uriel Elchalal3, Yehuda Ginosar4
1The Goldyne Savad Institute of Gene Therapy, Hadassah Hebrew University Medical Center, Jerusalem, Israel; 2MRI lab HBRC, Hadassah Hebrew University Medical Center, Israel; 3Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Hadassah Hebrew University Medical Center, Jerusalem, Israel; 4Department of Anesthesiology, Hadassah Hebrew University Medical Center, Jerusalem, Israel
Preeclampsia and intrauterine fetal growth restriction are common disorders of pregnancy frequently associated with reduced uteroplacental blood flow (UPBF) and fetal organ perfusion. In this study we used BOLD-fMRI combined with hypercapnic and hyperoxic challenge to assess uteroplacental and fetal organ perfusion. BOLD-fMRI provided simultaneous assessments of placental and fetal organs (brain, heart, liver) perfusion in pregnant mice. Acute maternal hypercapnia caused reproducible and reversible reductions in UPBF while fetal cerebral perfusion was unchanged; suggestive of the "brain sparing" phenomenon. Moreover, the BOLD-fMRI hypercapnic challenge test was able to differentiate between normal and chronically asphyxiated pregnancies (maternal hypoxia).