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Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2001 Sep;185(3):674-82.

Fetal umbilical cord oxygen values and birth to placental weight ratio in relation to size at birth.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Canadian Institutes of Health Research Group in Fetal and Neonatal Health and Development, University of Western Ontario, London.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Our purpose was to examine regulatory linkages between fetal oxygenation and fetal and placental growth. We determined umbilical cord PO (2) and oxygen saturation, fractional oxygen extraction, and birth to placental weight ratio values in relation to size at birth for a large tertiary hospital population delivering at term.

STUDY DESIGN:

The computerized perinatal database of St Joseph's Health Care London, London, Ontario, was used to obtain the umbilical cord gases, pH, birth weight, placental weight, and other selected information for all term, singleton, liveborn infants between January 1990 and December 1999 (N = 27,043). Oxygen saturation values were calculated from the umbilical cord PO(2) and pH data with a previously derived empirical equation; fractional oxygen extraction values were calculated from the umbilical cord oxygen saturation data. Size at birth was divided into the following 5 birth weight categories using neonatal growth standards: fetal growth restriction, <3%; borderline fetal growth restriction, >or=3% and <10%; appropriate for gestational age, >or=10% and <or=90%; borderline large for gestational age, >90% and <or=97%; large for gestational age, >97%.

RESULTS:

Infants in the borderline fetal growth restriction and fetal growth restriction groups had umbilical vein and artery PO(2) and oxygen saturation values that were stepwise lower than respective values for infants in the appropriate for gestational age group. Conversely, infants in the borderline large for gestational age and large for gestational age groups had umbilical vein PO(2) and oxygen saturation values that were stepwise higher than respective appropriate for gestational age group values; infants in these groups showed no change in arterial PO (2) and oxygen saturation values. Therefore infants in the borderline fetal growth restriction and fetal growth restriction groups had fractional oxygen extraction values that were stepwise higher than the appropriate for gestational age group value, whereas values for infants in the borderline large for gestational age and large for gestational age groups remained unchanged. Birth weight was disproportional to placental weight for infants in the borderline fetal growth restriction and fetal growth restriction groups when compared with that of the infants in the appropriate for gestational age group, with the birth to placental weight ratio values stepwise decreased. Conversely, birth weight was proportional to placental weight for infants in the borderline large for gestational age and large for gestational age groups with the birth to placental weight ratio values thus unchanged when compared with that of the infants in the appropriate for gestational age group.

CONCLUSION:

We conclude that fetal oxygenation is related to size at birth across the entire range of birth weights as studied at term from macrosomic to growth-restricted infants; this conclusion supports oxygen as a primary determinant of fetal growth. However, there are differences in the linkage between fetal oxygenation and metabolic rate or growth for these cohort groups that may relate to underlying etiologic processes.

PMID:
11568797
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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