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 ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2008  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 134-137

Estimation and correlation of serum folic acid levels in spina bifida babies and their mothers


1 Department of Pediatric Surgery, Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi-221 005, UP, India
2 Department of General Surgery, Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi-221 005, UP, India
3 Department of Community Medicine, Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi-221 005, UP, India
4 Department of Biophysics, Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi-221 005, UP, India

Correspondence Address:
D K Gupta
Department of Pediatric Surgery, Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, UP-221 005
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1817-1745.43640

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Spina bifida is a common neural tube defect. The relative deficiency of folic acid (FA) in mother during periconceptional period is an important factor. We measured the serum FA levels in spina bifida babies and their mothers and compared the result with the FA level in normal babies. The blood samples were collected at the time of admission to hospital. Enquiry made about the age, sex, and birth order, problem in siblings and FA supplementation and detailed examination done to access the severity of the problem. Folic acid estimation was done by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay method. Antenatal FA supplementation was found in 40% of cases and 80% of control group. In the study group, the mean FA level in babies and mothers of FA supplemented group was 21.73 5.64 ng/dl and 15.02 3.02 ng/dl and in non-supplemented group were 7.41 1.48 ng/dl and 4.12 0.81 ng/dl, respectively. In control group mean FA level in babies and mothers of FA supplemented group were 16.88 3.2 ng/dl and 14.70 2.30 ng/dl and in nonsupplemented group were 14.33 1.74 ng/dl and 10.75 1.34 ng/dl, respectively. The serum FA levels in spina bifida babies as well as in their mothers were significantly low as compared to control group. This study suggests that the low serum FA levels in a lady at the time of pregnancy may be a causative factor in the pathogenesis of spina bifida and low levels in affected babies.






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