ABSTRACT: 1. Four pregnant ewes were operated on at 121-126 days of gestation. An electromagnetic flow sensor and an inflatable occluder were placed on the maternal common internal iliac artery. The ovarian arteries and veins were ligated. Indwelling catheters were placed in a maternal femoral artery and uterine vein and in the amniotic and allantoic fluids. An inflatable occluder was placed around the umbilical cord, close to the fetal abdomen. 2. Eight to nine days after surgery, the cord was occluded, the fetus killed and uterine blood flow reduced to one-quarter of its control value. The rate of water loss from the uterine circulation was calculated from blood flow and the venoarterial difference in blood osmolality. The amniotic and allantoic fluids were made hypertonic by infusion of 2 l into each sac of a solution of 1.5 mol of mannitol per litre of saline. The rate of water loss from the maternal uterine circulation was then measured five times over the next 4.5 h. 3. The combined filtration coefficient surface area product of the interfaces between maternal blood and the amniotic and allantoic sacs, normalized per kilogram fetal body weight, was (2.8 +/- 0.5) x 10(-6) cm3 s-1 kPa-1 kg-1 (mean +/- S.E.M).
The Journal of Physiology 01/1991; 431:1-10. · 4.72 Impact Factor