Difference between revisions of "Cardiovascular System - Ductus Venosus"

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A personal message from Dr Mark Hill (May 2020)  
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I have decided to take early retirement in September 2020. During the many years online I have received wonderful feedback from many readers, researchers and students interested in human embryology. I especially thank my research collaborators and contributors to the site. The good news is Embryology will remain online and I will continue my association with UNSW Australia. I look forward to updating and including the many exciting new discoveries in Embryology!


Fetal ductus venosus cartoon
Fetal Ductus Venosus
Fetal ductus venosus cartoon
Fetal circulation

The ductus venosus describes the vitelline blood vessel lying within the liver that connects (shunts) the portal and umbilical veins to the inferior vena cava and also acts to protect the fetus from placental over-circulation.

Postnatally this shunt functionally closes (93% of infants at 2 weeks) then structurally closes and degenerates to form it the ligamentum venosum. A comparison oat day 3 of postnatal shunt closures; 94% of infants have a closed ductus arteriosus, while only 12% had a closed ductus venosus.[1]

Abnormalities include an absence or patently. Absence can cause hydrops fetalis and the umbilical vein then drains directly into the inferior vena cava or right atrium. A patent or persistent ductus venosus describes postnatal failure of this vessel to close.

See also the related pages Arterial Development, Venous Development, Placental Villi Blood Vessels and Coronary Circulation Development.

Cardiovascular Links: cardiovascular | Heart Tutorial | Lecture - Early Vascular | Lecture - Heart | Movies | 2016 Cardiac Review | heart | coronary circulation | heart valve | heart rate | Circulation | blood | blood vessel | blood vessel histology | heart histology | Lymphatic | ductus venosus | spleen | Stage 22 | cardiovascular abnormalities | OMIM | 2012 ECHO Meeting | Category:Cardiovascular
Historic Embryology - Cardiovascular 
1902 Vena cava inferior | 1905 Brain Blood Vessels | 1909 Cervical Veins | 1909 Dorsal aorta and umbilical veins | 1912 Heart | 1912 Human Heart | 1914 Earliest Blood-Vessels | 1915 Congenital Cardiac Disease | 1915 Dura Venous Sinuses | 1916 Blood cell origin | 1916 Pars Membranacea Septi | 1919 Lower Limb Arteries | 1921 Human Brain Vascular | 1921 Spleen | 1922 Aortic-Arch System | 1922 Pig Forelimb Arteries | 1922 Chicken Pulmonary | 1923 Head Subcutaneous Plexus | 1923 Ductus Venosus | 1925 Venous Development | 1927 Stage 11 Heart | 1928 Heart Blood Flow | 1935 Aorta | 1935 Venous valves | 1938 Pars Membranacea Septi | 1938 Foramen Ovale | 1939 Atrio-Ventricular Valves | 1940 Vena cava inferior | 1940 Early Hematopoiesis | 1941 Blood Formation | 1942 Truncus and Conus Partitioning | Ziegler Heart Models | 1951 Heart Movie | 1954 Week 9 Heart | 1957 Cranial venous system | 1959 Brain Arterial Anastomoses | Historic Embryology Papers | 2012 ECHO Meeting | 2016 Cardiac Review | Historic Disclaimer

1923 Ductus Venosus

Some Recent Findings

  • Maternal diabetes alters the development of ductus venosus shunting in the fetus[2] "Despite adequate glycemic control, the risks of fetal macrosomia and perinatal complications are increased in diabetic pregnancies. Adjustments of the umbilical venous (UV) distribution, including increased ductus venosus (DV) shunting, can be important fetal compensatory mechanisms, but the impact of pregestational diabetes on UV and DV flow is not known. In pregnancies with pregestational diabetes mellitus, prioritized UV distribution to the fetal liver, and lower DV shunt capacity, both reduce the compensatory capability of the fetus and may represent an augmented risk during hypoxic challenges during late pregnancy and birth." maternal diabetes
  • Reference ranges for ductus venosus velocity ratios in pregnancies with normal outcomes[3] "Singleton pregnancies from 11 to 38 weeks with exactly established gestational ages (GAs) were recruited for the study. A total of 902 velocity wave ratios and ductus venosus PIVs were used for reference ranges. The S/v, S/D, and v/D ratios were not changed with GA (P > .05 for all). The PIV and S/a, v/a, and D/a ratios were reduced with GA (P < .0001 for all). Significant reductions in the means and standard deviations of the PIV and S/a, v/a, and D/a ratios were observed between 17 and 18 weeks' gestation. Therefore, nomograms were separately created between 11 and 17 weeks and 18 and 38 weeks."
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Search term: Ductus Venosus

<pubmed limit=5>Ductus Venosus</pubmed>

Embryonic Development

Stage 13

Stage 13 image 075.jpg

Gray0475.jpg Human Embryo Liver and Associated Veins

Human embryo liver ventral surface view. Figure after {{His)).

  • ductus venosus - shunts approximately half the umbilical vein blood flow directly to the inferior vena cava.
  • portal vein - carries blood from the gastrointestinal tract and spleen to the liver.
  • left umbilical vein - carries oxygenated blood from the placenta to the embryo/fetus.
  • right umbilical vein - vessel degenerates leaving a single (left) umbilical vein.
  • vena revehentes - veins from the sinusoid vessels in the liver to the inferior vena cava, that later develop into the hepatic veins.

Stage 22

Stage 22 image 083.jpg

Fetal Development

Fetal ductus venosus ultrasound

Fetal ductus venosus ultrasound[4]

Links: ultrasound


Fetal ductus venosus pressure wave 01.jpg

Fetal ductus venosus pressure wave


Patent Ductus Venosus

Patent or Persistent ductus venosus (postnatal 8 years) connecting the left portal vein to the inferior vena cava.[5]

Postnatal persistant ductus venosus ultrasound 02.jpg Postnatal persistant ductus venosus ultrasound 03.jpg
Tomography Two-dimensional echocardiography
Postnatal persistant ductus venosus ultrasound 03.jpg
Ductus Venosus
Page | Play
Links: Computed Tomography | OMIM 601466 Patent Ductus Venosus


  1. <pubmed>9377136</pubmed>
  2. Lund A, Ebbing C, Rasmussen S, Kiserud TW & Kessler J. (2018). Maternal diabetes alters the development of ductus venosus shunting in the fetus. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand , , . PMID: 29752712 DOI.
  3. Turan OM, Turan S, Sanapo L, Willruth A, Wilruth A, Berg C, Gembruch U, Harman CR & Baschat AA. (2014). Reference ranges for ductus venosus velocity ratios in pregnancies with normal outcomes. J Ultrasound Med , 33, 329-36. PMID: 24449737 DOI.
  4. da Silva FC, de Sá RA, de Carvalho PR & Lopes LM. (2007). Doppler and birth weight Z score: predictors for adverse neonatal outcome in severe fetal compromise. Cardiovasc Ultrasound , 5, 15. PMID: 17374167 DOI.
  5. Subramanian V, Kavassery MK, Sivasubramonian S & Sasidharan B. (2013). Percutaneous device closure of persistent ductus venosus presenting with hemoptysis. Ann Pediatr Cardiol , 6, 173-5. PMID: 24688239 DOI.



Fugelseth D, Lindemann R, Liestøl K, Kiserud T & Langslet A. (1997). Ultrasonographic study of ductus venosus in healthy neonates. Arch. Dis. Child. Fetal Neonatal Ed. , 77, F131-4. PMID: 9377136

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Cite this page: Hill, M.A. (2020, August 10) Embryology Cardiovascular System - Ductus Venosus. Retrieved from https://embryology.med.unsw.edu.au/embryology/index.php/Cardiovascular_System_-_Ductus_Venosus

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