Document Detail

Smoking habits and maternal serum alpha-fetoprotein levels during the second trimester of pregnancy.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  6192839     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
In a prospective study the influence of cigarette smoking on maternal serum alpha-fetoprotein levels at 16 weeks gestation was examined. Significantly higher levels were found in 120 smokers compared with 138 non-smokers (median 54.0 and 44.3 micrograms/1 respectively, P less than 0.001). No difference in maternal body weight between the two groups could account for the results. The possibility of smoking-induced increased permeability of the placental barrier is discussed.
This work tested the hypothesis that during pregnancy cigarette smokers would exhibit elevated levels of alpha-fetoproteins (AFP), reflecting leakage of an albumin-sized molecule across the placenta or through the membranes. Maternal serum AFP levels of 258 patients at 16 weeks gestation were prospectively studied in a prenatal clinic. Patients of uncertain gestational age, with threatened abortion, fetal death, suspected twins, previous birth of a child with neural-tube defect or maternal diabetes were excluded. Notes were taken on smoking habits and preconception body weight. Maternal AFP levels in 120 smokers were about 20% higher than those of the 138 nonsmokers (median 54.0 and 44.3 mcg/1 respectively, P0.001). There was no difference between the median pregestational weights. Although the results are not proof of a causal association, they are consistent with the hypothesis that maternal smoking in early pregnancy leads to increased leakage of fetal proteins across the placental barrier.
S G Thomsen; L Isager-Sally; A P Lange; N Saurbrey; V Schiølier
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  British journal of obstetrics and gynaecology     Volume:  90     ISSN:  0306-5456     ISO Abbreviation:  Br J Obstet Gynaecol     Publication Date:  1983 Aug 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1983-10-08     Completed Date:  1983-10-08     Revised Date:  2004-11-17    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7503752     Medline TA:  Br J Obstet Gynaecol     Country:  ENGLAND    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  716-7     Citation Subset:  AIM; IM; J    
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MeSH Terms
Body Weight
Pregnancy Trimester, Second*
Prospective Studies
alpha-Fetoproteins / analysis*
Reg. No./Substance:

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