Objective: We tested whether neonates are subject to oxidative stress by comparing the susceptibility of umbilical blood lipids with copper-induced peroxidation.
Study design: Umbilical arterial and venous blood samples were drawn from 32 pregnant women who delivered by elective cesarean section (CS) and from 32 pregnant women who delivered by spontaneous vaginal delivery (SVD) in a tertiary care center. Oxidative stress was evaluated by spectrophotometric monitoring of copper-induced peroxidation of serum samples.
Results: The lag preceding lipid peroxidation in umbilical arterial blood was shorter than the lag in umbilical venous blood, irrespective of mode of delivery (14.0+/-1.8 vs 50.6+/-8.25 min, P=.0004 in SVD group; 17.7+/-1.6 vs 39.2+/-7.6 min, P=.006 in CS group).
Conclusion: Umbilical arterial lipids are more susceptible to peroxidation than umbilical venous lipids, indicating high oxidative stress in the fetal circulation irrespective of mode of delivery.