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Arterial wall thickness and blood pressure in children who were born small for gestational age: correlation with umbilical cord high-sensitivity C-reactive protein
  1. Daniele Trevisanuto (trevo{at}pediatria.unipd.it)
  1. Pediatric Department, Medical School, University of Padova, Azienda Ospedaliera Padova, Italy
    1. Federica Avezzù
    1. Pediatric Department, Medical School, University of Padova, Azienda Ospedaliera Padova, Italy
      1. Francesco Cavallin
      1. Pediatric Department, Medical School, University of Padova, Azienda Ospedaliera Padova, Italy
        1. Nicoletta Doglioni
        1. Pediatric Department, Medical School, University of Padova, Azienda Ospedaliera Padova, Italy
          1. Marco Marzolo
          1. Angiology Care Unit, Medical School, University of Padova, Azienda Ospedaliera Padova, Italy
            1. Fabio Verlato
            1. Angiology Care Unit, Medical School, University of Padova, Azienda Ospedaliera Padova, Italy
              1. Vincenzo Zanardo
              1. Pediatric Department, Medical School, University of Padova, Azienda Ospedaliera Padova, Italy

                Abstract

                Background: Small for gestational age (SGA) infants have an increased risk of later cardiovascular disease. At birth, high sensitivity-C reactive protein (hs-CRP), a prognostic marker of cardiovascular disease, is significantly higher in SGA than in appropriate for gestational age (AGA) infants.

                Aim: To measure aortic and carotid intima media thickness (aIMT - cIMT) and blood pressure (BP) in children (aged 3-5 years) who were born SGA and AGA, and to assess the correlation between hs-CRP concentrations obtained at birth and these hemodynamic variables.

                Methods: Umbilical cord hs-CRP concentrations were obtained in 38 neonates. In the same subjects aged 3-5 years, aIMT and cIMT were measured by high-resolution ultrasound scan, in the dorsal arterial wall. Anthropometical variables and BPs were obtained for each child.

                Results: Maximum (median 0.700 mm, range 0.500-1.080 vs 0.650 mm, 0.400-0.860; p = 0.32) aIMTs were similar between children who were born SGA (n 17) and AGA (n 21), respectively. Concentrations of hs-CRP were not correlated with IMTs. In children who were born SGA, systolic BP was significantly correlated with umbilical cord hs-CRP concentrations (r = 0.60; p = 0.009).

                Conclusions: Children who were born SGA have a higher, although not significant, aortic thickening than those who were born AGA. Umbilical cord hs-CRP concentrations don’t seem to be involved in this process.

                Instead, hs-CRP concentrations were significantly related to systolic BP values in children who were born SGA suggesting that hs-CRP at birth could be associated to the sympathetic system hyperactivity and to the stress-response during childhood.

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