Plasma cortisol and adrenocorticotropin (ACTH) were measured in fetal blood samples obtained by cordocentesis from 61 appropriate for gestational age (AGA) and in 41 small for gestational age (SGA) fetuses at 18–38 weeks gestation. Fetal plasma cortisol (mean 74 nmol/l) did not change but plasma ACTH increased between 18 and 36 weeks gestation and the two were not significantly correlated. Plasma cortisol in cord blood samples after vaginal delivery at term (mean 305 nmol/l) was higher than in samples at elective cesarean section (mean 151 nmol/l), and there was a significant correlation between fetal and maternal levels. The findings suggest that in human fetuses a late gestational rise in plasma cortisol may not be necessary for organ maturation and that the high fetal plasma cortisol in spontaneous labor at term is probably the result rather than the cause of labor. In SGA fetuses, plasma cortisol was higher and ACTH lower than in AGA fetuses, and plasma cortisol was inversely correlated to fetal hypoglycemia, suggesting that in the chronically hypoglycemic SGA fetus the fetal pituitary is under negative inhibition.

This content is only available via PDF.
Copyright / Drug Dosage / Disclaimer
Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.
You do not currently have access to this content.