Neonatal hair profiling reveals a metabolic phenotype of monochorionic twins with selective intrauterine growth restriction and abnormal umbilical artery flow

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Abstract

Background: Selective intrauterine fetal growth restriction (sIUGR) in monochorionic diamniotic twins, especially types 2&3 with abnormal umbilical artery Doppler, results in increased risk of fetal/perinatal mortality and postnatal disability. We investigate whether the hair metabolome profiles of neonates were associated with the pathophysiological differences across the different clinical forms of sIUGR in twins. Methods: Hair samples were collected at delivery from 10 pairs of type 1 sIUGR twins, 8 pairs of types 2&3 sIUGR twins, and 11 pairs of twins without sIUGR. The hair metabolome was characterized using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Results: Our results demonstrated that the hair metabolite profiles of the different sIUGR subclinical forms were associated with the averaged fetal growth rate after 28 weeks of gestation but not with birthweight. The hair profiles were capable of discriminating type2&3 sIUGR twins from twins without sIUGR. In particular, the metabolites 2-aminobutyric acid, cysteine, alanine, and tyrosine all displayed areas under the receiver operating characteristic curve were above 0.9. The metabolic pathway analysis highlighted the associations of sIUGR twins with abnormal umbilical artery flow with increased metabolites from a nutrient depletion pathway, glutathione metabolism, and nerve development. Conclusion: This study offers novel insight into the severity of intrauterine ischemia and hypoxia for T2&3 sIUGR twins, through evaluation of the neonatal hair metabolome.

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Yang, J., Wei, Y., Qi, H., Yin, N., Yang, Y., Li, Z., … Zhao, Y. (2020). Neonatal hair profiling reveals a metabolic phenotype of monochorionic twins with selective intrauterine growth restriction and abnormal umbilical artery flow. Molecular Medicine, 26(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s10020-020-00160-8

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