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Biol Reprod. 1983 Aug;29(1):56-62.

Relationship between the level of estrone sulfate in the plasma and the number of fetuses during pregnancy in the gilt.


Estrone sulfate was measured in the plasma of pregnant and nonpregnant gilts between Days 10 and 32 after estrus. Estrone sulfate was found to rise sharply in pregnant gilts beginning at Day 18 and to decline at Day 30 to Day 32. Estrone levels were not related to litter size. The level of estrone sulfate on Days 20, 22, 24 and 26 was significantly correlated with litter size at slaughter on Day 32. Reduction of the number of live fetuses by crushing them in utero at Day 40 or between Days 30 to 60 did not cause a subsequent reduction in the level of estrone sulfate, whereas reduction at Day 24 did cause a decline in estrone sulfate. The level of estrone sulfate in plasma of gilts at 20 to 28 days after mating was higher in pregnant than in nonpregnant gilts. The relative level of estrone sulfate would enable one to estimate litter size at Days 20 to 28 days but not later. Because of the limitations of the assay in exact quantitation of the levels of estrone sulfate, the results can only be considered qualitative.

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