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The ductus venosus

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Images of the ductus venosus obtained from a normal human fetus at 20 weeks of gestation. (A) and (B) Longitudinal fetal echocardiographic sections showing the ductus venosus connecting the umbilical vein to the inferior vena cava/right atrial junction. Note the decrease in diameter of the ductus venosus compared to that of the umbilical vein (A), and the acceleration of flow within its lumen demonstrated by aliasing on colour flow mapping (B). (C) Pulsed wave Doppler signal in the ductus venosus showing a characteristic continuous high velocity pattern (0.6 m/s) compared to 0.2 m/s normally detected in the umbilical vein. (Ant, anterior; Post, posterior; UV, umbilical vein; DV, ductus venosus; HV, hepatic vein; SVC, superior vena cava; Ao, aorta; RA, right atrium.)