Applicability of fetal thoracic aortic diameter measurement in the prediction of birth weight in Holstein-Friesian cows -short communication

Boglárka Vincze, András Gaspardy, Levente Kovacs, Ervin Albert, Luca Kezer, F. Baska, O. Szenci

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Transabdominal ultrasonography has been shown to be a useful and reliable method for assessing fetal well-being in horses and cattle. To test the applicability of fetal aortic diameter measurement in cattle, 44 late-term pregnant cows and heifers were examined 21 to 0 days prior to calving. Mean fetal aortic diameter was 2.07 ± 0.14 cm and mean fetal heart rate (FHR) was 109 ± 17 bpm. Three dead calves were dissected and their aortic diameter was measured in a water bath. The mean birth weight (n = 44) was 39.9 ± 5.8 kg. There was a significant negative correlation between FHR and fetal aortic diameter. However, although some studies have shown that fetal aortic diameter strongly correlates with birth weight in near-term horses and cattle, in this study there was no correlation between fetal aortic diameter and birth weight in Holstein-Friesian cows and heifers irrespective of whether the fetus was born alive or dead.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)60-65
Number of pages6
JournalActa Veterinaria Hungarica
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2017



  • Aortic diameter
  • Cattle
  • Fetal well-being
  • Ultrasonography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)

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