Association of Fetal Gender with Maternal Serum β-hCG and Testosterone in Normotensive and Preeclamptic Pregnancies

Document Type : Original Article


1 Assistant Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Lorestan University of Medical Sciences, Khorramabad, Iran.

2 General Practitioner, Khorramabad, Iran.

3 Lecturer, Faculty of Public Health, Lorestan University of Medical Sciences, Khorramabad, Iran.


Introduction:Elevated β-hCG and testosterone levels are found in maternal serum among pregnancies complicated by preeclampsia. The aim of present study is to evaluate the effect of fetal gender on serum human chorionic gonadotropin (β-hCG) and testosterone in normotensive and preeclamptic pregnancies.
Methods: Through a cross-sectional study, 139 women with singleton pregnancies in their third trimester were enrolled by convenient classified sampling. They were selected from whom referred to affiliated clinic of Khorram Abad Women’s Hospital for prenatal care between November 2006 and June 2007. Subjects were divided into two groups of normotensive and preeclamptic pregnancies, based on their blood pressure and proteinuria. 71 pregnancies were uncomplicated (35 male and 36 female). 68 pregnancies were complicated by preeclampsia (35 male and 33 female). Human chorionic gonadotropin (β-hCG) and total testosterone were measured in maternal serum. Data were analyzed by SPSS 11.5 software and statistical tests.
Results: In male-bearing pregnancies, maternal β-hCG and testosterone serum levels were significantly higher in preeclamptic mothers when compared to normotensive ones (P 
Conclusion: In preeclamptic pregnancies (with both male and female fetus), total testosterone level was higher than that of normotensive ones. Moreover, it was higher in male-bearing women than female-bearing ones. It was just in preeclamptic pregnancies with male fetus, where the maternal serum β-hCG level was higher than that of uncomplicated pregnancies. Our findings, therefore, would implicate an androgenic-mediated mechanism in the development of preeclampsia.


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