Significance of cord blood nucleated red blood cell count in pregnancies complicated by preeclampsia as a marker for intra uterine growth restriction

Priyanka Krishna, Karthik R., Adarsh E.


Background: Preeclampsia is a pregnancy-specific syndrome of reduced organ perfusion secondary to vasospasm and endothelial activation which is typically characterized by hypertension, proteinuria, edema and fetal compromise which is a leading cause of intra uterine growth restriction (IUGR).  Elevated nucleated red blood cell (NRBC) count is introduced as a potential marker of intra-uterine growth restriction (IUGR) hence determination of NRBC counts is essentially helpful in predicting short term neurodevelopment outcome. Objective of the study Elevated nucleated red blood cell (NRBC) count is introduced as a potential marker of intra-uterine growth restriction (IUGR) in term babies born to preeclamptic mothers

Methods: A cross sectional study conducted in a tertiary care hospital to evaluate the significance of cord blood NRBC count in term neonates born with pregnancy complicated by preeclampsia. It included 60 healthy mothers (control group) and 60 mothers with PIH. Collected data was analysed with SPSS software.

Results: The nucleated red blood cell in cord blood of newborns in preeclampsia group was significantly higher than in the control group (p value 0.013). IUGR is significantly higher in PIH group (p value 0.008).

Conclusions: From the observed data it is concluded that IUGR is an important cause of perinatal morbidity and mortality. The commonest maternal cause for IUGR was pregnancy induced hypertension. The other contributing factors were anemia, lack of awareness (unregistered, unbooked cases) among mothers, poor maternal nutrition and poor weight gain during pregnancy.  Infants of preeclamptic women have higher nucleated red blood cell count at birth than control which means that preeclampsia may produce an erythropoietic response in the fetus. The positive correlation between cord nucleated red blood cell counts in preeclamptic patients and control group indicates that may be the hypoperfused placenta plays a role in this correlation.


Cord blood nucleated RBC, Preeclampsia, Intra uterine growth restriction

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