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Pediatric Nephrology

, 22:209 | Cite as

Effects of maternal vitamin A status on kidney development: a pilot study

  • Paul Goodyer
  • Anura Kurpad
  • Swarna Rekha
  • Sumitra Muthayya
  • Pratibha Dwarkanath
  • Arpana Iyengar
  • Babu Philip
  • Arun Mhaskar
  • Alice Benjamin
  • Suran Maharaj
  • Diane Laforte
  • Chandhana Raju
  • Kishore Phadke
Original Article

Abstract

Nephron endowment ranges widely in normal human populations. Recent autopsy studies have drawn attention to the possibility that subtle congenital nephron deficits may be associated with increased risk of developing hypertension later in life. Since modest maternal vitamin A deficiency reduces nephron number in rats, we designed a pilot study to determine the prevalence of maternal vitamin A deficiency in Montreal (Canada) and Bangalore (India) and the usefulness of newborn renal volume as a surrogate for nephron endowment. Among 48 pregnant Montreal women, two (4%) had one isolated mid-gestation retinol level slightly below the accepted limit of normal (0.9 μmol/L), whereas 25 (55%) of 46 pregnant women in Bangalore had at least one sample below this limit. Average estimated retinoid intake was correlated with mean serum retinol in pregnant women from Bangalore. In Montreal where maternal vitamin A deficiency was negligible, we found that newborn renal volume (estimated by renal ultrasonography at 2–6 weeks of age) was correlated with surface area at birth and was inversely correlated with serum creatinine at 1 month. Interestingly, renal volume adjusted for body surface area in Montreal (184±44 ml/m2) was significantly greater than in Bangalore (114±33 ml/m2) (p<0.01). Definitive studies are needed to establish whether maternal vitamin A deficiency accounts for subtle renal hypoplasia in Indian newborns. If so, there may be important public health implications for regions of the world where maternal vitamin A deficiency is prevalent.

Keywords

Renal hypoplasia Vitamin A Nephron endowment Retinol Pregnancy Newborn kidney 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This study was supported by a grant from the McGill University Health Centre Research Institute. Paul Goodyer is the recipient of a Canadian Institutes of Health Research (James McGill) Chair.

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Copyright information

© IPNA 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul Goodyer
    • 1
  • Anura Kurpad
    • 2
  • Swarna Rekha
    • 3
  • Sumitra Muthayya
    • 2
  • Pratibha Dwarkanath
    • 2
  • Arpana Iyengar
    • 3
  • Babu Philip
    • 4
  • Arun Mhaskar
    • 5
  • Alice Benjamin
    • 6
  • Suran Maharaj
    • 6
  • Diane Laforte
    • 1
  • Chandhana Raju
    • 1
  • Kishore Phadke
    • 7
    • 8
  1. 1.Department of PediatricsMcGill University Health CentreMontrealCanada
  2. 2.Division of Nutrition, Institute for Population Health and Clinical ResearchSaint John’s Academy of Health SciencesBangaloreIndia
  3. 3.Departments of Pediatrics, Kidney Care CenterSt. John’s Medical College HospitalBangaloreIndia
  4. 4.Department of RadiologySt. John’s Medical College HospitalBangaloreIndia
  5. 5.Department of ObstetricsSt. John’s Medical College HospitalBangaloreIndia
  6. 6.Department of ObstetricsMcGill University Health CentreMontrealCanada
  7. 7.Children’s Kidney Care CenterSt. John’s Medical College HospitalBangaloreIndia
  8. 8.Department of PediatricsSt. John’s Academy of Health SciencesBangaloreIndia

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