Background: Protein Z is a glycoprotein which acts as an anticoagulant factor. A deficiency of protein Z is associated with thrombotic events and adverse obstetric outcomes. The association between protein Z deficiency and adverse obstetric outcomes has previously been demonstrated in several studies. However, none of them have investigated each complication independently. The aim of this study was to evaluate serum levels of protein Z in pregnancies complicated by intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR).
Methods: Pregnant and nonpregnant healthy women between the ages of 18 and 40 years were included in the study. There were three groups: One: Study group: pregnant women with IUGR fetuses; Two: Control group 1: pregnant women with normal fetuses; Three: Control group 2: nonpregnant, healthy women. Plasma protein levels of protein Z, protein S, and protein C were measured for each group.
Results: Women with IUGR had significantly higher mean plasma concentrations of protein Z compared to women with normal pregnancies. This is in contrast to previous studies.
Conclusions: The results of this study indicate that the association between protein Z levels and IUGR is still controversial.