Do indicators of maternal iron status reflect placental iron status at delivery?

Silvia Haydee Langini, María Luz De Portela, Araceli Lázzari, Carlos Rafael Ortega Soler, Bo Lönnerdal

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6 Scopus citations


Indicators of maternal iron (Fe) status were studied in relation to placental Fe (Pl-Fe) status. Placental (Pl) and maternal (M) venous blood samples were obtained from primiparous women (n=38), with normal delivery at Paroissien Hospital, Argentina. Maternal hemoglobin (M Hb), soluble transferrin receptor (M sTfR) (ELISA) and serum ferritin (M S-Ft) were studied in relation to Pl-Fe, ferritin (Pl-Ft) and transferrin receptor (Pl-TfR). Pl-TfR was measured by dot blot assay, Pl-Ft and M S-Ft by immunoassay (IRMA) and Pl-Fe by atomic absorption spectrometry. Fe status indicators were, respectively, (mean±SD): M Hb 113±16 g/L; M S-Ft 36±42 μg/L; M sTfR 6.3±3.1 mg/L; Pl-Fe 170±56 μg/g placenta; Pl-Ft 33±18 μg/g placenta; Pl-TfR 18±18 (range 0-58) μg/g placenta. Pl-Fe, Pl-Ft and Pl-TfR did not correlate to M Hb, M S-Ft and M sTfR. Women with Pl- Fe, Pl-Ft and Pl-TfR above or below the corresponding median values did not show any statistical significant difference in M Hb, M sTfR or M S-Ft values. Pl-Ft concentration was lower in women with Hb<110 g/L than in women with normal values: 26±13 vs. 38±20 μg/g, respectively (p=0.021). When Pl-TfR, Pl-Ft and Pl-Fe were compared in women with M S-Ft above or below the cut-off point of 10 or 20 μg/L, no significant difference was found for Pl-TfR neither for Pl-Ft nor Pl-Fe. These results suggest that maternal indicators of Fe status, particularly M sTfR and M S-Ft, do not reflect Fe status of the placenta at delivery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)243-249
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 17 2006


  • Dot blot assay
  • Maternal iron status
  • Placental ferritin
  • Placental iron
  • Placental transferrin receptor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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