Hormonal placental functions and intrauterine growth retardation in patients with positive contraction stress tests
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Human placental lactogen (HPL) and urinary and serum oestriol levels were studied in patients in whom the contraction stress test was positive. After birth the infants were assessed for growth retardation. Low PHL, serum oestriol and urinary oestrogen levels were found in 66%, 30% and 15% of patients respectively. Gestational ages were known in 148 patients, of whom 72 (49%) had infants whose weights were below the 10th percentile for gestational age. HPL values were low in 81% of mothers who gave birth to growth-retarded infants, but serum and urinary oestriol levels were low in only 43% and 21% respectively. When both a positive stress test and a low HPL value were present 69% of infants were growth retarded. The incidence of growth retardation rose to 85% when both HPL and serum oestriol levels were abnormal in patients with positive contraction stress tests. In this study estimation of HPL levels was found to be superior to that of oestrogen levels in detecting growth-retarded infants.
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