Blood flow through the embryonic heart outflow tract during cardiac looping in HH13-HH18 chicken embryos

Madeline Midgett, Venkat Keshav Chivukula, Calder Dorn, Samantha Wallace, Sandra Rugonyi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Blood flow is inherently linked to embryonic cardiac development, as haemodynamic forces exerted by flow stimulate mechanotransduction mechanisms that modulate cardiac growth and remodelling. This study evaluated blood flow in the embryonic heart outflow tract (OFT) during normal development at each stage between HH13 and HH18 in chicken embryos, in order to characterize changes in haemodynamic conditions during critical cardiac looping transformations. Two-dimensional optical coherence tomography was used to simultaneously acquire both structural and Doppler flow images, in order to extract blood flow velocity and structural information and estimate haemodynamic measures. From HH13 to HH18, peak blood flow rate increased by 2.4-fold and stroke volume increased by 2.1-fold. Wall shear rate (WSR) and lumen diameter data suggest that changes in blood flow during HH13-HH18 may induce a shear-mediated vasodilation response in the OFT. Embryo-specific four-dimensional computational fluid dynamics modelling at HH13 and HH18 complemented experimental observations and indicated heterogeneous WSR distributions over the OFT. Characterizing changes in haemodynamics during cardiac looping will help us better understand the way normal blood flow impacts proper cardiac development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number20150652
JournalJournal of the Royal Society Interface
Issue number111
StatePublished - Oct 6 2015


  • Cardiovascular development
  • Chick embryo
  • Haemodynamics
  • Optical coherence tomography
  • Outflow tract
  • Subject-specific haemodynamic modelling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biophysics
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Biochemistry
  • Biomedical Engineering


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