Volume 66, Issue 1 (30 2008)                   Tehran Univ Med J 2008, 66(1): 29-33 | Back to browse issues page

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Torkestani F, Zafarghndi N, Hadavand SH, Zaery F, Bozorg ghomi M. Umbilical nucleated red blood cell as a sign of fetal distress. Tehran Univ Med J 2008; 66 (1) :29-33
URL: http://tumj.tums.ac.ir/article-1-648-en.html
Abstract:   (7600 Views)

Background: The presence of increased numbers of nucleated red blood cell (NRBC) in the umbilical cord blood has been associated with states of relative hypoxia. Nucleated red blood cell counts are a potentially useful tool in estimating the degree and timing of intrauterine hypoxia. This may have important implication in determining causality in case of compromised infant. Cord blood NRBC counts may be obtained noninvasively from an otherwise discarded specimen and analyzed by personnel on equipment readily available in most hospital laboratories. Since the aim of monitoring of fetal heart is early diagnosis of hypoxia, we studied the relationship between abnormal fetal heart rate with the number of nucleated red blood cells (NRBC) in the umbilical cord blood.

Methods: We performed this research at Hazrat Zeynab Hospital on 130 full-term newborns (65 cases of fetal distress and 65 normal cases) between July 2005 and July 2006. The NRBC counts of newborns with abnormal fetal heart rate were compared with those of normal newborns and correlations with other parameters including Apgar score, hemoglobin level, condition of newborns in the first 24 hours of the birth and birth weight.

Results: The mean NRBC count in the fetal distress group was 9.45 ± 8.75 and that of the normal group was 9.17 ± 8.76 per 100 white cells (p=0.89). The mean duration between diagnosis of fetal distress to birth was equal to 1.2± 0.77 hours. Furthermore, there was no meaningful correlation between number of NRBC and Apgar score, hemoglobin, birth weight and condition of newborns in the first 24 hours.

Conclusion: If the fetus is born a short time after the diagnosis of distress with no risk factors for hypoxia, the NRBC count for cord blood is not elevated.

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