Early Development, Devel. Physiol., Dr. D. Penney

Table 2.07 - Special Features of the Fetal Circulation - An Overview:

  • Placenta, not lung, is organ of gas exchange

  • 6 fetal vascular channels present

  • Hearts (Right & Left) work in parallel, therefore outputs may differ

  • Circulatory pattern insures higher PO2 to brain, less to lower body

  • Cardiac output high, therefore large blood flow to placenta and fetal tissues

  • Pulmonary circulation has high resistance, therefore low blood flow. Sensitive to rising PO2

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