Gamma glutamyl transferase (GGT) activity was measured in cord blood of 125 preterm and term neonates rangingfrom 26 to 42 weeks of gestation. The enzyme activity was higher in cord blood of infants from 33 to 37 weeks' gestation than in those of younger or older gestation. Furthermore, GGT activity in infants of greater than 37 weeks' gestation was significantly higher in male than in female infants. There were no significant correlations between GGT and Apgar scores, regardless of gestational age. However, GGT activity in term infants with a history of perinatal events suggestive of stress (meconium passage in utero, fetal decelerations, tight nuchal cord, or difficult delivery) was significantly higher than in term infants without such perinatal history. No such association existed in infants of less than 38 weeks' gestation. Infants of 33 to 37 weeks' gestation delivered vaginally had significantly higher cord GGT activity than those delivered by cesarean section. This difference was not apparent in younger or older infants. These data suggest that GGT activity reflects gender, gestational age, route of delivery, and perinatal stress. Further investigation is required to establish the reasons for these differences and to determine the usefulness of such enzyme activity in the delineation of liver dysfunction during postnatal development.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Obstetrics and Gynecology