Iranian Journal of Medical Sciences

Document Type: Original Article(s)


1 Division of Neonatology, Department of Pediatrics, Ghaem Hospital, Mashhad University of Medical Science, Mashhad, Iran

2 Department of Pediatrics, Emam Reza Hospital, Mashhad University of Medical Science, Mashhad, Iran

3 Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Zeynab Hospital, Mashhad University of Medical Science, Mashhad, Iran


Background: Hemoglobin (Hb) and hematocrit (Hct) have been used routinely in the diagnosis of neonatal anemia and polycythemia. Objective: To measure the cord blood Hb and Hct and to determine their association with maternal Hb and Hct. Methods: 170 healthy neonates born through normal vaginal delivery with gestation age of 37-42 wks and birth weight of 2.5-4 kg, and their mothers were included in this cross-sectional study.  Cord blood Hb and Hct of these infants and their mothers were measured by an electronic Coulter counter.  Results: We studied 97 male and 73 female neonates.  The mean cord blood Hb was 15.8 (range: 11-21.4) g/dl, and Hct was 48% (range: 34%-63%).  The mean±SD cord Hb of males (16.0±1.4 g/dl) was significantly (p<0.05) more than that of females (15.3±1.8 g/dl). Polycythemia (Hct>63%) was not found in any infants.  However, 11.7% of newborns had an Hb<14 g/dl.  Mean Hb of mothers was 12.3 g/dl.  18% of mothers had an Hb<11 g/dl.  No significant correlation could be found between cord Hb and parity, birth weight and maternal age.  No association could be found between cord blood and maternal Hb. Nevertheless, anemic neonates were born more frequently to mothers with low Hb.  Conclusion:We found that mean Hb in our newborns was less than previously reported values.  Furthermore, we could find no correlation between cord and maternal Hb.