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Clin Chem. 1987 Oct;33(10):1801-6.

Time-dependent changes in bone, placental, intestinal, and hepatic alkaline phosphatase activities in serum during human pregnancy.

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Dept. of Obstetrics & Gynecology, San Bernadino County Medical Center, CA.


To measure changes in bone alkaline phosphatase (EC activity in serum as a function of duration of pregnancy, we adapted our existing alkaline phosphatase (ALP) isoenzyme assay (which has been used to measure bone, hepatic, and intestinal ALP activities in serum, in the absence of placental ALP) to allow quantification of individual ALP isoenzyme activities in the presence of placental ALP. The resulting CV for repeat measurements of bone ALP activity in artificial isoenzyme mixtures ranged from 23% for samples in which the bone isoenzyme represented 7% of total ALP activity to 11% for samples in which bone ALP accounted for 48% of total ALP activity. Values for repeat determinations of bone ALP activity in human serum samples (i.e., including samples obtained from pregnant women and from nonpregnant controls) varied by an average of 18%. We find, in initial applications of this method, that (a) the amount of bone ALP activity in serum is increased during pregnancy (P less than .001), and remains increased at six weeks postpartum, in non-lactating women (P less than .001), and (b) bone ALP activity at term was not significantly different in pregnant women with pre-eclampsia, diabetes, premature rupture of membranes, or premature labor, compared with normal pregnancies at term. Our data support the hypothesis that maternal bone formation may be increased during pregnancy.

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