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Pediatr Res. 2019 Sep 19. doi: 10.1038/s41390-019-0580-8. [Epub ahead of print]

The postnatal presence of human chorionic gonadotropin in preterm infants and its potential inverse association with retinopathy of prematurity.

Author information

1
Zietchick Research Institute, Plymouth, MI, USA. tmovsas@zietchick.com.
2
Department of Pediatrics & Human Development, College of Human Medicine, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, USA. tmovsas@zietchick.com.
3
Department of Pediatrics & Human Development, College of Human Medicine, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, USA.
4
Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, College of Human Medicine, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, USA.
5
Biomedical Sciences, Western Michigan University-Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine, Kalamazoo, MI, USA.
6
Zietchick Research Institute, Plymouth, MI, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) and luteinizing hormone (LH) are pro-angiogenic gonadotropic hormones, which classically target the reproductive organs. However, hCG, LH, and their shared CG/LH receptor are also present in the human eye. The possibility that a deficiency of these hormones may be involved in the pathogenesis of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) during its early non-proliferative phase has not been explored.

METHODS:

We conducted a cross-sectional study of Michigan-born preterm infants utilizing dried blood spots. We analyzed hCG and LH blood levels at 1 week and 4 weeks of age from 113 study participants (60 without ROP; 53 with non-proliferative ROP). We utilized electrochemiluminescence assays on the Mesoscale Discovery platform.

RESULTS:

Similar levels of hCG are found in preterm infants at both 1 week and 4 weeks after birth. Preterm infants with non-proliferative ROP, after adjusting for sex and gestational age, have 2.42 [95% CI: 1.08-5.40] times the odds of having low hCG at fourth week of age.

CONCLUSIONS:

We found that hCG is present postnatally in preterm infants and that a deficiency of hCG at 4 weeks of age is potentially associated with non-proliferative ROP. This provides novel evidence to suggest that hCG may participate in human retinal angiogenesis.

PMID:
31537012
DOI:
10.1038/s41390-019-0580-8

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