To investigate peripartum progesterone metabolism by measuring its lipid precursors.Methods:
Serum was collected from eight pregnant women not in labor during the third trimester and again during active labor. Samples were analyzed using quantitative spectrophotometric absorbance techniques for apolipoprotein A-l, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL), and total cholesterol.Results:
Remote from labor, the mean gestational age antepartum was 35.6 weeks; during active labor it was 39.2 weeks. The amount of apolipoprotein A-l present was 182.0 mg/dL before labor and 156.8 mg/dL during active labor; HDL cholesterol was 59.3 mg/dL before labor and 37.5 mg/dL during active labor, and total cholesterol was 226.6 mg/dL before labor and 144.1 mg/dL during active labor. All differences were significant at P < .05.Conclusion:
Maternal serum lipids associated with progesterone metabolism appear to decrease in the peripartum period. Progesterone metabolism and parturition may be correlated with these lipid changes, thus identifying patients about to enter labor.