Prolactin level in umbilical cord blood of newborn and its relation to respiratory distress syndrome

Namrata V. Padvi, Hemraj R. Narkhede, Amol P. Pawar, Pravin N. Mhatre


Background: Production of lower concentrations of prolactin in fetus is considered as one of the major contributor for the development of respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) in newborns considerably in pregnants with maternal complications. Hence the present study was conducted with the objective to measure the serum level of cord blood prolactin in normal pregnancy and in pregnancy with maternal complications and its association with development of RDS in newborn.

Methods: In this prospective study of 100 women, 28 with normal pregnancy (Group A) and 72 with abnormal pregnancies (Group B) were included in the study. Umbilical cord blood was collected and serum prolactin level was estimated using radio-immuno assay. The obtained values were correlated with prevalence of RDS in neonates and maternal complications.

Results: The average age of pregnant women participated in Group A was 26 years and Group B was 27 years. In Group A 2 babies with birth weight of 2001-3000 gm had a cord serum prolactin level of 216±137.8 ng/mL developed RDS. In Group B the level of prolactin was 285±276 and 326±132 ng/mL in 4 RDS babies with birth weight of <1000 gm and 1000-2000 gm respectively. It was observed that cord serum prolactin levels had no correlation with the mode of delivery, sex of newborn, steroid therapy. In Group A, 2 neonates developed RDS which were of gestational age between 32-35 weeks with mean prolactin level of 216 ng/ml, while in Group B, 1 neonate with gestational age less than 32 weeks and mean prolactin level of 480 and 4 neonates of 32-35 weeks with mean prolactin level of 266 ng/mL developed RDS. Out of 27 mothers with complications of PIH, 3 developed RDS. 1 case each from IUGR and twins developed RDS respectively.

Conclusions: The risk of RDS is less in newborn with high prolactin level than in newborns with low prolactin levels. So prolactin might have a role in fetal lung maturation.


Cord serum prolactin level, Complications in pregnancy, Respiratory distress syndrome

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