Polycythemia of the preterm and Full-Term newborn infant: Relationship between hematocrit and gestational age, total blood solutes, reticulocyte count, and blood pH

D. Carmi, B. Wolach, T. Dolfin, P. Merlob

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The umbilical venous hematocrit at birth (Hct 1) and the peripheral venous hematocrit at 2 h of life (Hct 2) were determined in 78 healthy full-term and 14 healthy preterm newborn infants. Hct 1 was 51.6 ± 4.1% in full-term infants and 50.8 ± 4% in preterm infants. Hct 2 was 60.9 ± 2 and 58.6 ± 6.1% in full-term and preterm infants, respectively. Significant differences between Hct 1 and Hct 2 were found in both groups of infants (p < 0.01). The blood viscosity increased significantly in both groups from birth to 2 h of life. Neonatal polycythemia (Hct higher than 70% at 2 h of life) was detected in only 3 full-term infants (3.8%). They received partial exchange transfusion. There was a positive linear correlation of Hct 1 with Hct 2 in full-term newborns (r = 0. 71, p < 0.001) and preterm infants (r = 0.57, p < 0.02). No infants with Hct 1 equal to or below 50 % had Hct 2 higher than 65%. None with Hct 1 between 51 and 54% had Hct 2 higher than 70%. Neither Hct 1 nor Hct 2 correlated with birth weight, gestational age, total blood solutes, or reticulocyte counts at birth in either group. An inverse linear correlation was found between blood pH at birth and Hct 2 in preterm newborn infants (r = 0.66, p < 0.02).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-178
Number of pages6
JournalBiology of the Neonate
Volume61
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Full-term newborn infant
  • Polycythemia
  • Preterm newborn infant

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