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Braz J Med Biol Res. 2006 Aug;39(8):1021-5.

Elevated amniotic fluid amino acid levels in fetuses with gastroschisis.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Dicle University School of Medicine, Diyarbakir, Turkey. drakale@dicle.edu.tr


Our objective was to measure maternal plasma and amniotic fluid amino acid concentrations in pregnant women diagnosed as having fetuses with gastroschisis in the second trimester of pregnancy. Twenty-one pregnant women who had fetuses with gastroschisis detected by ultrasonography (gastroschisis group) in the second trimester and 32 women who had abnormal triple screenings indicating an increased risk for Down syndrome but had healthy fetuses (control group) were enrolled in the study. Amniotic fluid was obtained by amniocentesis, and maternal plasma samples were taken simultaneously. The chromosomal analysis of the study and control groups was normal. Levels of free amino acids and non-essential amino acids were measured in plasma and amniotic fluid samples using EZ:fast kits (EZ:fast GC/FID free (physiological) amino acid kit) by gas chromatography (Focus GC AI 3000 Thermo Finnigan analyzer). The mean levels of essential amino acids (histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine) and non-essential amino acids (alanine, glycine, proline, and tyrosine) in amniotic fluid were found to be significantly higher in fetuses with gastroschisis than in the control group (P < 0.05). A significant positive correlation between maternal plasma and amniotic fluid concentrations of essential and nonessential amino acids was found only in the gastroschisis group (P < 0.05). The detection of significantly higher amino acid concentrations in the amniotic fluid of fetuses with a gastroschisis defect than in healthy fetuses suggests the occurrence of amino acid malabsorption or of amino acid leakage from the fetus into amniotic fluid.

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