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J Endocrinol. 1996 Feb;148(2):303-9.

Circulating levels of IGF-I and IGF-binding protein-1 throughout pregnancy: relation to birthweight and maternal weight.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Reproductive Physiology, St Bartholomew's Hospital Medical College, West Smithfield, London.


Serum levels of IGF-I and IGF-binding protein (IGFBP-1) have been determined in the maternal circulation between 11 and 42 weeks of gestation in women not in labour (n = 335) and in the maternal and fetal circulations at the time of delivery between 37 and 42 weeks (n = 55). Maternal serum (MS) IGF-I levels increased during pregnancy and showed a significant positive correlation with maternal weight (P = 0.0033) but no correlation with birthweight. The MS IGFBP-1 levels did not change during the second and third trimesters and showed a negative correlation with birthweight, maternal weight, placental weight and MS glucose (P = 0.0002, P < 0.0001, P = 0.047, P = 0.024 respectively). MS IGFBP-1 levels were higher in small-for-gestational age babies than in average-for-gestational weight babies (P = 0.026) and lower in the large-for-gestational weight group (P = 0.048). There was a significant rise in mean MS IGFBP-1 levels during labour (P = 0.0005). These findings suggest that IGFBP-1 may be an important factor in pathological growth retardation.

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