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J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2014 Feb;27(3):265-9. doi: 10.3109/14767058.2013.811229. Epub 2013 Jul 12.

The umbilical cord alpha-fetoprotein levels for predicting hyperbilirubinemia in term neonates.

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Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Department of Pediatrics, Kanuni Sultan Suleyman Training and Research Hospital , İstanbul , Turkey .



The aim of this study was to investigate the possible relationship between cord bloodalpha-fetoprotein (AFP) level and development of subsequent neonatal hyperbilirubinemia.


The term newborns born between March 2005 and October 2005 were included in the study. Infants with Coombs-positive ABO and/or Rh incompatibility and/or hemolytic jaundice, asphyxia, congenital anomaly and signs of bleeding were excluded from the study. Cord blood AFP levels were measured in 504 full term newborns in this period. Infants were followed-up for possible neonatal hyperbilirubinemia. The capillary bilirubin level (CBL) was examined expeditiously in newborns developing jaundice and in other infants at the time discharge while the screening test was being performed.


The mean umbilical cord AFP level was 49.1 ± 44.9 mg/L (range 1.1-396.2 mg/L), mean CBL was 5.8 ± 3.1 mg/dL (range 1-19.4 mg/dL), and the mean bilirubin detection time was 37 ± 23.2 hours (range 12-144 h) of age. Although a significant positive correlation was found between umbilical cord AFP and CBL levels, it was weak (r = 0.187, p < 0.001). Comparison of AFP levels in terms of bilirubin percentile values appropriate for postnatal age also showed a significant weak positive correlation (r = 0.113, p < 0.001).


The umbilical cord AFP levels may not be used as a strong predictor for the determination of newborns at risk for hyperbilirubinemia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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