Send to

Choose Destination
Obstet Gynecol. 1990 Aug;76(2):219-22.

Maternal alcohol abuse is associated with elevated fetal erythropoietin levels.

Author information

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Finland.


The erythropoietin levels in mixed cord serum of 40 infants born to drinking women were compared with those of 24 infants born to abstinent women. Twenty infants born to drinkers had signs of fetal alcohol effects. Thirty-five percent of the erythropoietin levels in mixed cord serum of infants of drinking mothers were above the normal range. Further, the elevation in fetal erythropoietin level correlated with maternal alcohol intake; infants of mothers consuming at least 300 g of ethanol weekly (28) had significantly higher (P less than .025) umbilical erythropoietin levels (median 66 mU/mL, range 10-2500) compared with infants of mothers consuming 150-300 g of ethanol weekly (median 37 mU/mL, range 23-215) or infants of control women (median 32 mU/mL, range 11-73). The subgroup analysis between infants with and without fetal alcohol effects showed no differences in umbilical erythropoietin levels. Maternal alcohol ingestion during pregnancy is associated with elevated umbilical erythropoietin levels, but whether this is a direct effect of ethanol or is induced by chronic fetal hypoxemia remains unclear.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center