Effects of maternal hypertension on the neonatal haemogram in southern Nigeria: A case-control study
Hypertension in pregnancy is a leading cause of maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality. This study aimed to compare the hematological parameters in neonates of hypertensive mothers with those of normotensive mothers, and also to compare the incidence of polycythaemia, neutropenia and thrombocytopenia in both groups.
This was a hospital-based case control study. Three milliliters of cord blood from neonates of women with hypertension in pregnancy and those of normotensive pregnant women were sampled for haemogram parameters using a 3-part autoanalyser. Haematocrit and white blood cell differentials were done manually. Data were analysed using SPSS version 16.
A total of 200 neonates were recruited, comprising 100 neonates of mothers with hypertensive disorders of pregnancy and 100 neonates of normotensive mothers. The mean haematocrit was significantly higher in neonates of hypertensive mothers than those of normotensive mothers. The neutrophil and platelet counts of neonates of hypertensive mothers were significantly lower than those of normotensive mothers. The incidences of polycythaemia, neutropenia, and thrombocytopenia were found to be 8%, 15%, and 38% among neonates of hypertensive mothers and 0%, 2%, and 8% among neonates of normotensive mothers, respectively. These incidences were significantly different between the groups.
There was a positive association between hypertension in pregnancy and neonatal polycythaemia, neutropenia, and thrombocytopenia. Haematological parameters of neonates of mothers with hypertension in pregnancy should be properly evaluated and monitored to reduce the chances of developing complications associated with these abnormalities.