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Successful establishment of model for fetal growth restriction and preeclampsia

The Reduced Uterine Perfusion Pressure (RUPP) model is developed at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, where two of our researchers (Caren van Kammen and Fieke Terstappen) were taught the animal model. They have now successfully continued their work at the UMC Utrecht. In this animal model, blood flow towards the uterus and placenta is reduced by ~40% by placing vascular clips, resulting in fetal growth restriction. (Figure 1). Currently, we are the only center in Europe with this valuable model. In the upcoming year we will study among others the development of cardiovascular, renal and neurological disorders in the fetal growth restricted offspring. One of the most important follow-up steps entails testing potential and promising therapeutic strategies to prevent these long-term non-communicable disorders at a multi-organ level. In addition, we aim to evaluate new imaging techniques (oxygenation measurements using MRI and ultrasound) to improve fetal monitoring.