The main objective of this study was to examine the influence of parturition on the polymorphonuclear leukocyte elastase release in the fetus and the mother. There were 32 babies and parturients. The mean arterial cord blood elastase level was 294.8 ± 129.15 ng/ml (median 304.25), while the mean plasma (venous) level in the adult normal controls was 35.66 ± 14.1 ng/ml. The difference was highly significant at p < 0.0001 (Student's t test, two-tailed). The mean elastase level of the mothers was 143.45 ± 109 ng/ml (median 115.25). This was significantly lower than the mean arterial cord blood elastase level (p < 0.0001) but higher than the mean elastase level in healthy adults (p < 0.0001). The mean cord blood and the mothers' white blood cell counts were 11.9 ± 3.1 (median 11.8, range 6.3-18.7 x 109/1) and 12.4 ± 2.8 (median 12.4, range 7.3-17.1 x 109/1) respectively. The difference was not statistically significant (p = O.4). The WBC counts correlated significantly with the mothers' (r = 0.4, p = 0.03) and cord blood (r = 0.7, p < 0.0001) elastase levels. These results suggest that the raised arterial cord blood elastase levels during parturition may reflect the disturbance of fetal homeostasis during parturition.
- Arterial cord blood
- Healthy neonates and mothers
- Polymorphonuclear leukocyte elastase
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Obstetrics and Gynecology