Fetal breathing movements (FBM) indicated by repetitive negative intrathoracic pressures and biparietal electrocorticograms (ECoG) were recorded from 8 fetal sheep for 3 h before (control) and 3 h after the administration of a carbonic anhydrase inhibitor, acetazolamide. FBM and the low voltage (LV) ECoG state occurred 36±5% (SEM) and 60±3% of the control period, respectively. Virtually no FBM occurred during high voltage (HV) ECoG while in 57±6% of the LV state the fetuses were making FBM. The peak magnitude of the negative intrathoracic (tracheal) pressure deflections was 4±1 Torr. Following acetazolamide the incidence of FBM rose to 53±4% (P<0.01) but there was no significant change in the incidence of the LV state (58±3%). Most of the increase in the incidence of FBM remained confined to periods of LV ECoG activity so that an increased proportion of this state (88±2%, P<0.001) was occupied with respiratory efforts. The amplitude of the FBM also increased to 8±1 Torr (P<0.05). The increased incidence and depth of FBM is most likely due to an elevated hydrogen ion concentration and differs from a fetal respiratory acidosis induced by increasing the inspired CO2 fraction to the ewe in that the respiratory stimulation induced by acetazolamide is not associated with an increased incidence of the permissive LV ECoG state.
- Active sleep
- Fetal breathing
- Quiet sleep
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine