Nominate 4 structural and/or physiological adaptations of the term foetal circulation to intrauterine life,
indicating for each the function in the foetus, and the adult remnant(s), if any.
(10 marks)
Question 4.
A full term infant, who dies within a few minutes of birth at home, is the subject of a Coronial autopsy. As
the attending clinician, you are given access to the autopsy report, which, in part, says:
“…Cardiovascular System: atrial situs solitus, with atrio-ventricular discordance and ventriculo-arterial
concordance. ….”
a) Explain what is meant by each of the terms in italics in the autopsy report extract above.
(3 marks)
b) What criteria are used at autopsy to distinguish
(i) a Right from a Left atrium?
(ii) a Right from a Left ventricle?
(2 marks)
c) Is the cardiac morphology detailed in the autopsy compatible with adult life? Explain!.
(5 marks)
d) Suppose the end of the quote from the same autopsy report had instead said:
“….and ventriculo-arterial discordance. …”
Is this cardiac morphology compatible with adult life? Explain!
(5 marks)

Question 5
In the foetal circulation at full term, (but prior to birth or the commencement of labour):
a) blood flow through the foramen ovale is mainly from left atrium to right atrium
b) the volume of blood pumped per minute by the right ventricle and by the left ventricle are for
practical purposes equal
c) the ductus venosus allows oxygenated blood returning from the placenta to supply the liver
d) pulmonary trunk hydrostatic pressure is similar to aortic hydrostatic pressure
e) blood percentage O2 saturation is higher in the inferior vena cava than that in the superior
vena cava
(2.5 marks)