Fetal cord blood IGF-I, IGFBP-1 and IGFBP- 3 levels of appropriate-for-gestational-age (AGA) and intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR) babies are studied and followed up for 6–9 months, reevaluated for anthropometric measures and the effects of IGF-I, IGFBP-1 and IGFBP-3 on fetal growth and early catch-up growth is investigated. 23 AGA and 21 IUGR babies, totally 44 newborns, were included in the study protocol. IGF-I and IGFBP-3 levels were found to be high in AGAs with respect to IUGR babies and IGFBP-1 is found to be high in IUGR with respect to AGAs. IGF-I was significantly lower in IUGR babies without catch-up growth (group 2b) with respect to AGAs (group 1) and neonates with IUGR and catch-up growth (group 2a) and group 2a infants had higher IGF-I values than group 2b infants (p < 0.05). IGFBP-3 levels in group 1 were significantly higher than in the other two groups (p < 0.05), but not significantly different in group 2a with respect to group 2b (p > 0.05). IGFBP-1 values showed no statistically significant difference with respect to the three different groups (p > 0.05). A good correlation was found between birth weight, postnatal weight and postnatal height and IGF-I and IGFBP-3 levels (p < 0.05) but not with IGFBP-1 levels. Aside from the height of the 3 groups of infants which were similar to each other after the follow-up period, IGF-I was significantly high in IUGR infants with catch-up growth with respect to IUGR infants without catch-up growth, indicating its importance in early catch-up growth of IUGR babies.

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