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ORIGINAL ARTICLECadmium and Lead in Women Who Miscarried by Wioleta J. Omeljaniuk, Katarzyna Socha, Jolanta Soroczynska, Angelika E. Charkiewicz, Tadeusz Laudanski, Marek Kulikowski, Edward Kobylec, Maria H. Borawska

Background: Cadmium (Cd) and lead (Pb) are toxic elements which, when ingested excessively in food and drinking water, accumulate in selected organs and pass through the placenta barrier to the foetus, showing teratogenic effects. The aim of the study was to determine the concentration of Cd and Pb in blood and placental tissue in women who miscarried.
Methods: The study group consisted of 83 women who miscarried. The control group included 35 women in the first trimester of pregnancy and after childbirth. The experimental materials consisted of whole blood and fragments of placental tissue. The concentrations of Cd and Pb were determined using atomic absorption spectrometry (AAS) with electrothermal atomization in a graphite furnace and by Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS) in standard mode.
Results: The average concentration of Cd (2.730 ± 2.07 µg/L) and Pb (35.54 ± 11.0 µg/L) in the blood of women with miscarriage was higher in comparison to the level of these toxic metals in the blood of women from the control group (Cd 1.035 ± 0.59 µg/L; Pb 27.11 ± 4.6 µg/L). The average Cd (214.4 ± 514 µg/L) and Pb (199.6 ± 348 µg/L) content in the placenta of women with miscarriage was higher in comparison to the amount of these elements in the placenta of women from the control group (Cd 127.4 ± 85 ng/L; Pb 26.35 ± 7.9 ng/L). Tobacco smoking significantly affected cadmium blood levels and the placental tissue content in women who miscarried.
Conclusions: Elevated Cd and Pb concentrations in the blood and placenta of pregnant women may be connected with the occurrence of miscarriage; therefore, the levels of these heavy metals should be monitored in women who plan pregnancy. It seems that determining the level of molar ratio between toxic metal and antioxidant elements can be analyzed as a marker for selection for control examinations as a valuable complement to existing diagnostic procedures in prevention, especially in early pregnancy. Additional diagnostic methods should be established as new tools in perinatal care in order to enable early diagnosis of pregnancy pathology and, especially, to prevent miscarriage.

DOI: 10.7754/Clin.Lab.2017.170611