European Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Biology;Volume 228
Background Intrauterine conditions may be important in the development of cerebral palsy in the child. The hormone, human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), is synthesized in the placenta, and hCG plays an important role in placental angiogenesis and development. Thus, maternal hCG concentrations may be an indicator of placental function and thereby the intrauterine environment for the offspring. We studied the associations of maternal concentrations of hCG during pregnancy with cerebral palsy in the child. Methods We performed a case-control study nested within a cohort of 29,948 pregnancies in Norway during 1992–1994. Cases were all women within the cohort who gave birth to a singleton child with cerebral palsy diagnosed before five years of age (n = 63). Controls were a random sample of women with a singleton child without cerebral palsy (n = 182). Results The adjusted odds ratio (OR) for cerebral palsyin the child was 0.78 (95% CI: 0.55–1.10) per log-transformed unit of maternal hCG in the 1 st trimester, and the OR was 1.42 (95% CI: 0.94–2.16) in the 2nd trimester. Thus, women who did not have high hCG concentrations in the 1 st trimester and low hCG concentrations in the 2nd trimester, had increased risk for giving birth to a child with cerebral palsy. Adjustments were made for pregnancy week of serum sampling, maternal age and parity. Conclusions The abnormal hCG concentrations in pregnancies with cerebral palsy in the offspring, could suggest placental factors as causes of cerebral palsy.