Background: Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) is a common diagnosis in obstetrics and carries an increased risk of prenatal mortality and morbidity. It is associated with short and long term negative outcome in fetuses, infants, and children. The aim of the study was the determination of serum homocysteine along with folic acid and vitamin B12 concentration in pregnancies complicated with IUGR (intrauterine growth restriction).
Methods: The study was performed in a group of 180 pregnant subjects in the third trimester. Fasting (overnight, at least 12 hour) blood samples were collected from 150 pregnant patients with IUGR and 30 normal pregnant women. Serum total homocysteine (tHcy), serum folic acid, and serum vitamin B12 levels were measured.
Results: Mean serum concentration of total homocysteine in the group of pregnant patients with IUGR was 11.14 ± 4.05 µM/L whereas in the group of normal pregnant women it was 7.42 ± 2.93 µM/L. The serum folic acid level in the group of pregnant patients with IUGR was 10.24 ± 3.91 ng/mL while in the group of normal pregnant women it was 15.20 ± 3.41 ng/mL. The serum vitamin B12 level in the group of pregnant patients with IUGR was 146.99 ± 43.51 pg/mL where as in the group of normal pregnant women it was 171.96 ± 25.75 pg/mL. The differences were statistically significant.
Conclusions: The study revealed that increasing serum homocysteine levels in pregnancies complicated with IUGR were accompanied by decreasing levels of serum folic acid and vitamin B12. Treatment with folic acid and vitamin B12 could improve fetal weight in IUGR pregnant patients with increased homocysteine levels.
DOI: Clin. Lab. 2011;57:933-938