Impact of serum uric acid concentration on ultrasound scanned pregnant women in Calabar, Nigeria
Objectives: To evaluate the effect of serum uric acid elevation on the fetus and to determine the existence of a connection between hyperuricemia and gestational hyperten sion (pre-eclampsia).
Materials and method: A prospective cross-sectional case-controlled ultrasound scan study was done on 200 singleton pregnant women between 20 to 40 weeks gestational age in a 12-month period. The age range for the cases and control were from 15 to 39 years. Uric acid concentration in the serum obtained from all the women was analyzed utilizing manual colorimetric method. Pearson’s correlation and the student t-tests were used to analyze the data obtained.
Results: Maternal serum uric acid had negative correlation with fetal heart rate (FHR) (p = 0.025) and a positive correlation with estimated gestational age (EGA) (p = 0.040) including estimated fetal weight EFW (p = 0.046). A significant positive correlation between uric acid and proteinuria (p = 0.009) was observed. Uric acid was higher in pre-eclamptics than gestational hypertensives (8.528±2.679 mg/dl versus 6.542±1.746 mg/dl, p = 0.016). Also, uric acid in pregnancy induced hypertension (PIH) was higher than the normotensives (7.535±2.165 mg/dl versus 5.437±1.636 mg/dl).
Conclusion: Maternal hyperuricemia predisposes to fetal bradycardia which may have possibly led to the two fetal demise recorded in the present study. Increased EFW with hyperuricemia may be due to higher body mass index (BMI) of the subjects. Therefore, high serum uric acid has a significant role in foretelling the appearance of preeclampsia but not gestational hypertension.