Introduction During pregnancy the fetus swallows and absorbs an increasing amount of amnioticfluid. It remains unclear whether a lack of absorption of amniotic fluid may result in low birth weight (BW). There are a few studies evaluating the significance of amniotic fluid on fetal growth and the their results are controversial. This study was carried out to evaluate the intrauterine nutritive role of amniotic fluid on fetal growth.
Method Neonates with atresia of gastrointestinal tract (GIT) during a period of 12 years were studied retrospectively. 29 from 100 patients were excluded from the statistical analysis because of VATER (VACTERL) association (8), chromosomal abnormalities (11) and congenital heart anomalies (10). BW and birth length (BL) from 71 infants (esophageal atresia (20), duodenal atresia (16), jejunal atresia (7), ileal atresia (11) and anal atresia (17) compared between infants with atresia of upper GIT (AUGIT; esophagus, duodenum) and atresia of lower GIT (ALGIT; jejunum, ileum, colon and anal atresia).
Results There is a significant difference in BW between UGIA and LGIA: BW below the 10th percentile was observed in 16 of 36 patients (44%) with UGIA and only 6 of 35 patients (17%) with LGIA (p= 0.012, UGIA vs. LGIA). There is no statistical significant difference for BL between both groups (p=0.735).
Conclusion Newborn infants with UGIA had lower birth weight than newborn infants with LGIA. This would be in agreement with the hypothesis that absence or decrease of absorption of amniotic fluid in the fetus leads to lower birth weight.