The effect of a reduction in maternal perfusate flow on maternal-fetal transport of urea and antipyrine has been investigated in vitro using the isolated human placental lobule. The protocol was so designed that the same lobule served as its own control for the study. On reducing the maternal perfusate flow to about half of the control value, mimicking a ‘toxemia’ situation, urea transport rose significantly to about twice the control level while antipyrine transport remained unchanged. The high urea transport in the simulated toxemia model is in accord with data obtained earlier from preeclamptic pregnancies.

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