Pregnancy prediction on the day of embryo transfer (Day 7) and Day 14 by measuring luteal blood flow in dairy cows

Tomomi Kanazawa, Motohide Seki, Keiki Ishiyama, Tomoaki Kubo, Yoshiyuki Kaneda, Minoru Sakaguchi, Yoshiaki Izaike, Toru Takahashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


This study aimed to assess the suitability of luteal blood flow analyses measured by color Doppler ultrasonography (CDUS), to predict pregnancy at pre- and post-embryo transfer (ET) in dairy cows, and to compare with the established criterion like luteal size and plasma progesterone (P4) concentrations. Lactating Holstein cows (n = 65) with spontaneous (n = 34) or synchronized estrus (n = 31) were examined. Cows with a CL greater than or equal to 20 mm in diameter (n = 58) received embryo transfer on Day 7 (Day 0 = estrus). Brightness mode images were captured for calculation of the CL area, luteal cavity area, and dominant follicle area on Days 3, 5, 7, and 14. Color Doppler ultrasonography examinations were conducted to determine the blood flow area (BFA) within the CL at the maximum diameter and the time-averaged maximum velocity (TAMV) of the base of the spiral artery on the same days. Plasma P4 concentrations were determined from blood samples collected at each ultrasound examination. Pregnancy was diagnosed by an ultrasound on Day 30. There was no significant difference in the proportion of cows received embryo (91.2% vs. 87.1%, P = 0.70) and pregnancy rate (58.1% vs. 59.3%, P = 1.00) between the spontaneous estrus and synchronized groups. The BFA values of the pregnant group (n = 34) were approximately 1.42 and 1.54 times higher than those of the nonpregnant group (n = 24) on Days 7 (0.54 ± 0.04 cm2 vs. 0.38 ± 0.02 cm2; P < 0.01) and 14 (0.80 ± 0.23 cm2 vs. 0.52 ± 0.22 cm2; P < 0.01), respectively. The TAMV of the pregnant group was approximately 1.45 times higher than that of the nonpregnant group on Day 14 (57.8 ± 3.5 cm/s vs. 40.0 ± 3.3 cm/s; P < 0.01). However, no differences were found in the CL area, CL tissue area, dominant follicle area, and plasma P4 concentrations among these groups. In addition, the best logistic regression model to predict pregnancy included scores for BFA on Day 7, BFA and TAMV on Day 14. Setting the cutoff value of BFA at 0.43 cm2 yielded the highest sensitivity (79.4%) and specificity (75.0%) on Day 7, indicating the effectiveness of using BFA data for predicting pregnancy on Day 7. Furthermore, setting the cutoff value at one obtained from a sample with BFA 0.63 cm2 and TAMV 50.60 cm/s yielded the highest sensitivity (85.3%) and specificity (91.7%) on Day 14. In conclusion, the evaluations of BFA on Day 7, and paired BFA and TAMV on Day 14 represent reliable predictors of pregnancy in the cow.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1436-1444
Number of pages9
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Feb 28 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Small Animals
  • Food Animals
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Equine


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