Amniotic fluid glycine-valine ratio and neonatal morbidity in fetal growth restriction

Ira M. Bernstein, Robert Silver, K. Sreekumaran Nair, William S. Stirewalt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Objective: To test the hypothesis that an elevated amniotic fluid glycine-valine ratio predicts neonatal morbidity in growth-restricted newborns. Methods: Amniotic fluid (AF) was collected from 122 third-trimester pregnancies (range 31-39 weeks), 49 of which were complicated by fetal growth restriction. Amino acid analysis was performed by high-pressure liquid chromatography. Glycine-valine ratios were compared between normal and growth-restricted fetuses. Neonatal morbidity within the group of growth- restricted fetuses was characterized by evaluation of neonatal hypoglycemia, arterial cord blood gas analysis, and birth weight percentile. We also examined the correlation of AF glycine-valine ratio to the umbilical artery resistance index. The median interval between AF sampling and delivery was 1 day (range 0-8 days). Analyses were performed by Student t test, χ2 with Yates correction, or simple correlation when appropriate. P < .03 was considered significant. Results: Growth-restricted fetuses have a significantly elevated AF glycine-valine ratio compared with control subjects (3.31 ± 1.06 versus 2.61 ± 0.77, respectively, P < .001). There was no association of the glycine-valine ratio with gestational age for either group. An elevated glycine-valine ratio was not associated with neonatal hypoglycemia within the growth-restricted group (hypoglycemia: [n = 16] 3.19 ± 1.07; no hypoglycemia: (n = 30) 3.44 ± 1.09). There were no significant correlations of glycine-valine ratio with arterial cord blood pH (r = - 0.10), oxygen pressure (r = 0.04), or base deficit (r = 0.12). There were no significant correlations of glycine-valine ratio and birth weight percentile (r = -.24) or umbilical artery resistance index (r = -.14). Conclusion: Amniotic fluid glycine-valine ratio is elevated in growth-restricted fetuses compared with control fetuses. However, the level of glycine-valine elevation is not associated with neonatal morbidity related to hypoglycemia, arterial cord blood gas abnormalities, or birth weight percentile.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)933-937
Number of pages5
JournalObstetrics and gynecology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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