Variations of serum copper values in pregnancy

Srp Arh Celok Lek. Jan-Feb 2012;140(1-2):42-6.


Introduction: Copper is essential micronutrient and has an important role in the human body. The serum copper increases during pregnancy and is doubled at full term. Lower levels of serum copper in pregnancy are connected with some pathological conditions.

Objective: The aim of this study was to estimate the levels of serum copper in normal and pathological pregnancies, comparing them with values of serum copper in non-pregnant women, to determine if serum copper is lower in some pathological pregnancies and if this is of some importance.

Methods: A total of 2170 plasma samples for copper analyses were made in the following groups: healthy non-pregnant women; healthy pregnant women from the 5th-40th gestational week, during the first delivery stage and during the first three postpartum weeks, in pregnant women with habitual abortion, imminent abortion, abortion in progress, missed abortion (9th-24th weeks), missed labour and premature rupture of membranes (29th-40th weeks). Levels of serum copper were determined by colorimetric technique of bathocuproin with disulphate as a chromogen.

Results: Serum copper values in non-pregnant women range from 11.6-25.8 micromol/L. In healthy pregnant women, there is a constant trend of the increase of serum copper. The mean serum copper values revealed three significant peaks at the 22nd, 27th and 35th gestational week. Serum copper values in the patients with some pathological pregnancies in relation to the serum copper values of the healthy pregnant women were significantly lower.

Conclusion: Serum copper values can be used as an indicator of some pathological pregnancies.

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Spontaneous / blood
  • Copper / blood*
  • Female
  • Fetal Membranes, Premature Rupture / blood
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Trimesters / blood
  • Reference Values


  • Copper