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Biol Neonate. 1995;68(1):10-4.

Maternal and neonatal plasma transthyretin (prealbumin) concentrations and birth weight of newborn infants.

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Department of Pediatrics, Louisiana State University School of Medicine, Shreveport, USA.


Animal studies have shown that maternal protein deficiency during pregnancy affects fetal birth weight. This study has examined whether or not the fetal birth weight of full-term newborns has any relationship with the acute protein nutrition status of the mother. Protein nutrition status was assessed by measuring the plasma transthyretin (prealbumin) concentrations. Plasma transthyretin concentrations (mean +/- SE) from the cord blood of 20 newborns (10.9 +/- 0.5 mg/dl) were significantly lower (p < 0.000000001) compared with respective maternal concentrations (17.8 +/- 0.8). There was a significant correlation of transthyretin concentrations between mother and newborns (r = 0.61, p < 0.005), and of newborn birth weight with plasma transthyretin concentrations of newborns (r = 0.57, p < 0.01) and mothers (r = 0.51, p < 0.03). This study documents a relationship of fetal birth weight with maternal and newborn plasma transthyretin concentrations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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