The number of circulated nucleated red blood cells (nRBC) is associated with erythropoeisis in newborns. In this study we evaluate nRBC of healthy full-term newborns in relationship with the red blood cell indices of the babies and their mothers.
Patients/Methods A complete blood count (CBC) was performed in 103 newborns at less than 12 h of life. A maternal CBC was also performed just before delivery.
Results The mean birth weight was 3197 g (SD 0.435). 51.4% of the newborns had no nRBC. 34% had 1–2% nRBC and 11.6% had >3% nRBC. The mean values of maternal red blood cell (RBC) indices were haemoglobin 11.4 g/dl (SD 1.2), RBC 4.066 × 109/mm3 (SD 0.461), mean corpuscular volume (MCV) 84.7 fl (SD 8.1), mean corpuscular haemoglobin (MCH) 28.2 pg (SD 3.2), red cell distribution width (RDW) 13.6% (SD 1.4). The mean values of newborns’ RBC indices were haemoglobin 14.5 g/dl (SD 1.7), RBC 4.185 × 109/mm3 (SD 0.53), MCV 104.5 fl (SD 4.7), MCH 34.9 pg (SD 1.8), RDW 16.7% (SD 1.4). Statistically significant differences were reported between nRBC and maternal RBC count (p = 0.008) but not with newborns’ RBC count. In addition, a statistically significant difference was determined between nRBC and newborns’ RDW. No association was reported between nRBC and the other RBC indices.
Conclusions The nRBC are significantly related to the maternal RBC number and the newborns’ RDW. This probably indicates that erythopoeisis in healthy newborns is related to maternal production of RBC. In addition, the anisocytosis in the newborn is maybe related to fetal erythropoeisis.