Whole blood fatty acid composition differs in term versus mildly preterm infants: Small versus matched appropriate for gestational age

Carlo Agostoni, Franca Marangoni, Giorgio Stival, Italo Gatelli, Francesca Pinto, Patrizia RisI, Marcello Giovannini, Claudio Galli, Enrica Riva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


To investigate the associations between whole blood fatty acid (FA) profile and restricted intrauterine growth, any small for gestational age (SGA) infant born in our maternity ward through 1 y was matched with two appropriate for gestational age (AGA), of the same GA ± 0.5 wk, infants, further subdivided into term and preterm. Whole blood was collected at d 4 on a strip and FA % composition assessed by means of gas chromatography. The whole sample consisted of 28 SGA versus 56 AGA born at term and 20 SGA versus 40 AGA born preterm at around 35 wks. Parent FA of the n-6 and n-3 FA families were higher in preterm groups, whereas docosahexaenoic acid was higher in term AGA (median % values, 3.9 versus 3.7 in term SGA, 2.8 in preterm AGA, and 2.5 in preterm SGA, p <0.001). Term AGA had markedly higher values for the docosahexaenoic acid/alpha-linolenic acid ratio (median value: 91, versus 18 in term SGA, 12 in preterm AGA, and 10 in preterm SGA, p <0.001). Term SGA had significantly lower levels of total monounsaturated FA and higher levels of eicosapentaenoic acid. Therefore, the 4-d whole blood FA pattern is associated with both GA and birth weight.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)298-302
Number of pages5
JournalPediatric Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2008


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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