Journal of Clinical Medicine
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Background: Both high and low placental weights are associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes. Maternal hemoglobin levels can influence placental weight, but the evidence is conflicting. Since maternal hemoglobin does not invariably correlate with fetal/neonatal blood hemoglobin levels, we sought to determine whether cord blood hemoglobin or maternal hemoglobin status more closely associates with placental weight in women undergoing elective cesarean section at term. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study conducted at the Royal Alexandra Hospital, Edmonton, Canada, involving 202 women with term singleton pregnancies undergoing elective cesarean section. Maternal blood and mixed cord blood hemoglobin levels were analyzed using a HemoCue Hb201+ system. Birth weight, placental weight, one-and five-minute APGAR scores, American Society of Anesthesiologists physical state classification, maternal age, and maternal height were also recorded. Relationships between maternal and cord blood hemoglobin levels with placental weight, birth weight, and birth weight to placental weight ratio were the main outcome measures. Results: A total of 182 subjects were included in the analysis. Regression analysis showed that cord blood hemoglobin, but not maternal hemoglobin, was inversely related with placental weight (β = −2.4, p = 0.001) and positively related with the birth weight to placental weight ratio (β = 0.015, p = 0.001 and p = 0.63, respectively). Conclusions: Our findings suggest that measuring cord blood hemoglobin levels, rather than maternal hemoglobin levels, may provide important diagnostic information about in utero fetal adaptation to suboptimal placental function and neonatal health.