Fetal blood flow in branching models of the chorionic arterial vasculature

Zoya Gordon, Osnat Eytan, Ariel J. Jaffa, David Elad

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Fetal development depends on adequate exchange of materials between the fetus and maternal circulatory systems, which requires optimal distribution of blood vessels over the chorionic plate to ensure perfusion of the whole placental volume. Based on a previous investigation of the architecture of the chorionic vessels in the human placenta, we developed in this study typical models for the dichotomous and monopodial segments of the chorionic arteries of a mature placenta. Each model also included some intraplacental (IP) vessels that branch off into the cotyledons perpendicular to the chorionic arteries. Computational analysis of steady blood flow through these models was performed to explore the distribution of fetal blood over the chorionic plate. The results demonstrated that energy losses are small in the monopodial model, which explains their efficient delivery of fetal blood over the chorionic plate in cases of a marginal cord insertion. On the other hand, the dichotomous model is efficient in distributing a relatively large volume of blood over large areas near the bifurcation. Accordingly, the combination of dichotomous and monopodial bifurcation in a normal chorionic plate ensures a uniform blood perfusion of the placenta. Simulations with narrow daughter and IP vessels did not result in significant changes in the main mother tubes, supporting clinical observations in which umbilical blood flow remains normal although some peripheral vessels may be occluded.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationReproductive Biomechanics
PublisherBlackwell Publishing Inc.
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)1573316733, 9781573316736
StatePublished - Apr 2007

Publication series

NameAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
ISSN (Print)0077-8923
ISSN (Electronic)1749-6632


  • Blood perfusion
  • Dichotomous bifurcation
  • Monopodial bifurcation
  • Numerical simulation
  • Placenta


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