The distribution of arteries and veins to the uterine and maternal placental vascular beds of the guinea-pig was studied in vivo by serial angiography and post mortem by the injection of barium sulphate suspension. The main features of the fetal placental vessels were also demonstrated. There is a dual arterial supply to each uterine horn, the uterine and ovarian arteries joining to form a continuous loop. The radial arteries which arise from the arterial loop and supply the placentae pursue a meandering course and are widely dilated. The haemodynamic implication of this configuration is that the placentae are evenly perfused with blood at a low flow velocity and a relatively low mean pressure. The veins draining the uterus are of wide calibre, presenting little resistance to flow and allowing for a small pressure gradient between the placentae and the vena cava. Veins leaving the lateral part of the uterine horn pass through the network of arteries supplying the ovary, but no special arrangement for countercurrent exchange could be demonstrated. Techniques are described for the selective catheterization of the uterine and ovarian arteries and for super-selective catheterization of the utero-ovarian veins from a jugular vein.
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