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J Pediatr. 1986 Jun;108(6):972-6.

Cord prealbumin values in newborn infants: effect of prenatal steroids, pulmonary maturity, and size for dates.


We assessed cord prealbumin concentrations in 214 appropriate for gestational age newborn infants, 21 small for gestational age infants, and 27 large for gestational age infants to establish normal values and to assess the effect of intrauterine growth, prenatal steroids, and pulmonary maturity on prealbumin levels. Cord prealbumin values were significantly correlated with increasing gestational age (r = 0.33; P less than 0.001) and birth weight (r = 0.40, P less than 0.001) in the AGA neonates. Neonates born before 37 weeks gestation had significantly lower prealbumin levels than those born at term (P less than 0.001). The SGA infants had significantly lower levels than age-matched AGA controls (P less than 0.01), and LGA infants had significantly higher levels than age-matched AGA controls (P less than 0.001). In preterm infants, those with exposure to prenatal steroids (betamethasone or premature rupture of membranes) had significantly higher prealbumin values than control infants of comparable age and weight (P less than 0.001). Infants without respiratory distress syndrome had higher levels than those of comparable age and weight with hyaline membrane disease (P less than 0.05). This study demonstrates that a correlation of gestational age and birth weight exists with cord prealbumin levels, and that the large variability at each gestational age may be accounted for in part by appropriateness of size for dates, prenatal steroid exposure, and pulmonary maturity.

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