The equine embryonic vesicle is mobile on Days 12–14 (Day 0 = ovulation), when it is approximately 9–15 mm in diameter. Movement from one uterine horn to another occurs, on average, approximately 0.5 times per hour. Mobility ceases (fixation) on Days 15–17. Transrectal color Doppler ultrasonography was used to study the relationship of embryo mobility (experiment 1) and fixation (experiment 2) to endometrial vascular perfusion. In experiment 1, mares were bred and examined daily from Day 1 to Day 16 and were assigned, retrospectively, to a group in which an embryo was detected (pregnant mares; n = 16) or not detected (n = 8) by Day 12. Endometrial vascularity (scored 1–4, for none to maximal, respectively) did not differ on Days 1–8 between groups or between the sides with and without the corpus luteum. Endometrial vascularity scores were higher (P < 0.05) on Days 12–16 in both horns of pregnant mares compared to mares with no embryo. In pregnant mares, the scores increased (P < 0.05) between Day 10 and Day 12 in the horn with the embryo and were higher (P < 0.05) than scores in the opposite horn on Days 12–15. In experiment 2, 14 pregnant mares were examined from Day 13 to 6 days after fixation. Endometrial vascularity scores and number of colored pixels per cross-section of endometrium were greater (P < 0.05) in the endometrium surrounding the fixed vesicle than in the middle portion of the horn of fixation. Results supported the hypothesis that transient changes in endometrial vascular perfusion accompany the embryonic vesicle as the vesicle changes location during embryo mobility.
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