Subclinical myocardial injury in small-for-gestational-age neonates

T. Chaiworapongsa, J. Espinoza, J. Yoshimatsu, K. Kalache, S. Edwin, S. Blackwell, B. H. Yoon, J. E. Tolosa, M. Silva, E. Behnke, R. Gomez, R. Romero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Objective: Small-for-gestational-age (SGA) infants are at risk for premature death from cardiovascular disease (myocardial infarction and stroke), hypertension, and diabetes in adult life. Severe intrauterine growth restriction is often associated with subclinical cardiovascular abnormalities detectable during fetal echocardiography. The objective of this study was to determine whether SGA newborns have evidence of myocardial injury at birth. Study design: Cardiac troponin I, a specific marker of myocardial injury widely used for the diagnosis of myocardial infarction in adults, was determined in umbilical cord blood. Umbilical cord venous blood was obtained at the time of birth from 72 SGA newborns (birth weight below the 10th centile for gestational age) and 309 newborns whose birth weights were appropriate for gestational age (AGA). Cardiac troponin I was determined with a commercially available immunoassay (sensitivity 0.2 ng/ml) employed in clinical laboratories (Immulite 2000, Diagnostic Products Corp., Los Angeles, CA). Results: Cardiac troponin I was not detectable in any of the blood samples from AGA infants. In contrast, 4.2% (3/72) of SGA infants had detectable cardiac troponin I in umbilical cord blood (Fisher's exact test, p = 0.007). Conclusion: A subgroup of SGA newborns undergoes myocardial injury before birth. This insult may predispose to the development of adult premature cardiovascular disease and death.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)385-390
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Myocardial injury
  • Small for gestational age
  • Troponin I

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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