Aim: To determine whether homocysteine concentrations in umbilical cord plasma of neonates born to mothers with pre-eclampsia are elevated compared to concentrations in neonates born to normotensive women.
Method: Maternal blood from eight women with pre-eclampsia and ten women without pre-eclampsia was collected on admission for labour. Cord blood was collected from these same pregnancies at delivery. Plasma was extracted and stored at −70°C. Samples were batch-analysed for homocysteine.
Result: Maternal plasma homocysteine levels were observed to be significantly higher in the pregnancies complicated by pre-eclampsia compared to the control pregnancies (P = 0.043) with median levels of 5.4 µmol/L (interquartile range (IQR) 4.6–7.9; range 3.6–16.7) versus 4.1 µmol/L (IQR 3.4–5.1, range 3.1–6.7). Homocysteine concentrations in umbilical cord plasma in pregnancies complicated by pre-eclampsia were also significantly higher compared to those in normotensive pregnancies (P = 0.016) with median concentration levels of 5.3 µmol/L (IQR 4.8–7.2, range 2.5–16.6) versus 3.8 µmol/L (IQR 2.8–4.4, range 0.8–1.6).
Conclusion: Both maternal and umbilical cord plasma homocysteine concentrations were elevated in pregnancies complicated by pre-eclampsia compared to normotensive controls.