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Retinol (vitamin A) is essential, so the objective of this Institutional Review Board approved study is to evaluate retinol placental concentration, intrauterine transfer, and neonatal status at time of term delivery between cases of maternal retinol adequacy, insufficiency, and deficiency in a United States population. Birth information and biological samples were collected for mother-infant dyads (n = 260). Maternal and umbilical cord blood retinol concentrations (n = 260) were analyzed by HPLC and categorized: deficient (≤0.7 umol/L), insufficient (>0.7-1.05 umol/L), adequate (>1.05 umol/L). Intrauterine transfer rate was calculated: (umbilical cord blood retinol concentration/maternal retinol concentration) × 100. Non-parametric statistics used include Spearman's correlations, Mann-Whitney U, and Kruskal-Wallis tests. p-values <0.05 were statistically significant. Only 51.2% of mothers were retinol adequate, with 38.4% insufficient, 10.4% deficient. Only 1.5% of infants were retinol adequate. Placental concentrations (n = 73) differed between adequate vs. deficient mothers (median 0.13 vs. 0.10 μg/g; p = 0.003). Umbilical cord blood concentrations were similar between deficient, insufficient, and adequate mothers (0.61 vs. 0.55 vs. 0.57 μmol/L; p = 0.35). Intrauterine transfer increased with maternal deficiency (103.4%) and insufficiency (61.2%) compared to adequacy (43.1%), p < 0.0001. Results indicate that intrauterine transfer rate is augmented in cases of maternal retinol inadequacy, leading to similar concentrations in umbilical cord blood at term delivery.



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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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