Fetal blood sampling in baboons (Papio spp.): Important procedural aspects and literature review

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The baboons (Papio cynocephalus) have similarities with human placentation and fetal development. Fetal blood sampling allows investigators to assess fetal condition at a specific point in gestation as well as transplacental transfer of medications. Unfortunately, assessing fetal status during gestation has been difficult and fetal instrumentation associated with high rate of pregnancy loss. Our objectives are to describe the technique of ultrasound guided cordocentesis (UGC) in baboons, report post-procedural outcomes, and review existing publications.


This is a procedural paper describing the technique of UGC in baboons. After confirming pregnancy and gestational age via ultrasound, animals participating in approved research protocols that required fetal assessment underwent UGC.


We successfully performed UGC in four animals (five samples) using this technique. Animals were sampled in the second and third trimesters with fetal blood sampling achieved by sampling a free cord loop, placental cord insertion site or the intrahepatic umbilical vein. All procedures were without complication and these animals delivered at term.


Ultrasound guided fetal umbilical cord venipuncture is a useful and safe technique to sample the fetal circulation with minimal risk to the fetus or mother. We believe this technique could be used for repeated fetal venous blood sampling in the baboons.

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