The study of maternal and fetal plasma catecholamines levels during pregnancy and delivery

J Perinat Med. 1999;27(3):195-8. doi: 10.1515/JPM.1999.027.


Background: To study maternal and fetal plasma levels of catecholamines (CA) during pregnancy and delivery, especially changes in CA levels during fetal distress and conditions of different modes of delivery.

Methods: Maternal and fetal plasma NE, E and DA levels were determined by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) for 16 non-pregnant women, 19 cases of early pregnancy, 17 cases of mid pregnancy, late pregnancy, spontaneous vaginal delivery and 53 cases of cesarean section.

Results: Plasma NE and DA levels decreased gradually with the advance of gestational weeks, and levels of plasma NE were significantly lower than those of non-pregnant women (P < 0.05). The levels of plasma CA in patients who had elective cesarean section were significantly lower than those who had vaginal delivery and emergency cesarean section (P < 0.01). However, CA levels of the cord artery in the vaginal delivery group were significantly higher than those in the cesarean section group (P < 0.01).

Conclusion: Vaginal delivery is better than cesarean section for the newborn. If cesarean section is necessary, it is best for the newborn after onset of labor.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cesarean Section
  • Delivery, Obstetric
  • Dopamine / blood*
  • Emergencies
  • Epinephrine / blood*
  • Female
  • Fetal Blood / metabolism*
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Labor, Obstetric / blood*
  • Norepinephrine / blood*
  • Pregnancy
  • Reference Values
  • Umbilical Arteries


  • Dopamine
  • Norepinephrine
  • Epinephrine