The Influence of Labor and Delivery on Preterm Fetal Adrenal Function

Authors


(R. S. P.) Rua Santo Inacio 195/402 Porto Alegre, RS 90000 Brazil

Abstract

ABSTRACT. The influence of labor and route of delivery upon umbilical cord serum levels of Cortisol and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate in one hundred sixty-nine preterm infants not exposed prena-tally to corticosteroids was studied. Vaginally born infants (group A, n=89) presented a higher mean cord Cortisol and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate concentrations than those delivered by cesarean section (group B, n=80). Although there were no differences in Cortisol and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate levels between infants delivered by cesarean section after spontaneous onset of labor (group B-I, n=42) and those without labor (group B-II, n=38), the mean Cortisol and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate concentrations were higher in group A than in group B-I. There was a correlation between umbilical cord Cortisol and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate levels. It is concluded that there is no association between the presence of labor and high cord serum levels of Cortisol and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate and there is an association between vaginal delivery and high cord Cortisol and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate levels in preterm infants. It is suggested that the stress of vaginal delivery stimulates the secretion of fetal Cortisol and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate in preterm infants.

Ancillary