Objectives: To investigate whether amniotic fluid concentrations of non protein bound iron (NPBI) vary with growth in healthy fetuses and also offer a reference curve in the second trimester of pregnancy.
Design and methods: Amniotic fluid concentrations of NPBI were measured by HPLC in 118 women with physiological singleton pregnancies, who underwent amniocentesis for fetal karyotype between weeks 15 and 18 of gestation.
Results: NPBI increased progressively from weeks 14--15 to weeks 15--16, peaking at 17--18 weeks of gestation. NPBI values regressed positively with gestational age (GA). Multiple linear regression analysis between NPBI, as dependent variable, and various fetal parameters, as independent variables, showed a statistically significant regression coefficient with GA, bi-parietal diameter and transverse cerebellar diameter.
Conclusions: The present data constitutes the first quantification of NPBI concentrations in amniotic fluid under physiological conditions. Correlations with GA and ultrasound fetal biometry suggest that NPBI may play a role in fetal growth.