Nitric oxide concentrations are increased in the feto-placental circulation in intrauterine growth restriction

F. Lyall, I. A. Greer, A. Young, L. Myatt

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The aim of this study was to measure plasma concentrations of total nitrites, as an index of nitric oxide (NO) synthesis, in the fetal circulation of normal pregnancies and in pregnancies complicated by intrauterine growth restriction. Plasma was prepared from umbilical venous blood collected from 13 placentae from normal pregnancies and 11 pregnancies complicated by intrauterine growth restriction. Plasma NO concentrations were determined using the Greiss reaction by measuring combined oxidation products of NO, plasma nitrite (NO2-) and nitrate (NO3-) after reduction with nitrate reductase. Significantly higher NO2- concentrations were found in umbilical venous plasma in the group complicated by intrauterine growth restriction compared to the control group (65.6 μmol/l versus 28.7 μmol/l, P < 0.001). These results support the hypothesis that increased NO production may be a compensatory response to improve blood flow in the placenta and/or may play a role in limiting platelet adhesion and aggregation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)165-168
Number of pages4
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1996


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Developmental Biology

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