Maternal and Fetal Fatty Acid Profile in Normal and Intrauterine Growth Restriction Pregnancies With and Without Preeclampsia

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The aim of this study was to evaluate maternal and fetal lipid profile in intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) pregnancies with and without preeclampsia (PE). Thirteen normal pregnancies studied during the third trimester (control M) and 29 at elective cesarean section (control CS) were compared with 18 pregnancies complicated by IUGR (IUGR only) and with seven pregnancies complicated by both IUGR and PE (IUGR-PE). Total plasma fatty acids, triglycerides, cholesterol, and nonesterified fatty acids (NEFA) were determined in maternal and fetal plasma. Nutritional intake was analyzed. IUGR only mothers had lower percentage of linoleic acid (LA) and higher arachidonic acid (AA) than controls, partly explained by higher AA dietary intake. Higher levels of NEFA were observed both in IUGR only and in IUGR-PE mothers whereas triglyceride levels were increased in IUGR-PE mothers only. In IUGR-PE fetuses, LA and AA were significantly decreased, whereas triglyceride and NEFA concentrations were significantly increased compared with normal fetuses. In conclusion, IUGR only is associated with altered fatty acids profile not completely accounted by dietary changes. We hypothesize that the differences observed in IUGR with PE for triglycerides and other lipids could be related to a difference in maternal phenotype.

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