Definition of Circulation, fetal

Circulation, fetal: The blood circulation in the fetus (an unborn baby). Before birth, blood from the fetal heart that is destined for the lungs is shunted away from the lungs through a short vessel called the ductus arteriosus and returned to the aorta. When this shunt is open, it is said to be a patent ductus arteriosus (PDA). The PDA usually closes at or shortly after birth, allowing blood to course freely to the lungs.

Last Editorial Review: 3/19/2012

Children's Health Pictures Slideshow: Top 10 Brain Foods for Children
Search MedTerms:

Back to MedTerms online medical dictionary A-Z List
Pill Identifier Tool

Need help identifying pills and medications?
Use the pill finder tool on RxList.