The dehydroepiandrosterone loading test. IV. Evaluation of clinical utility.
This report complements the previously described preliminary clinical evaluation of the dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) loading test (DLT) by presenting the results of 65 DLTs in 59 patients. In patients whose fetuses were suspected of being intrauterine growth retarded, a DHEA to estrogen conversion rate constant less than or equal to 3.0 x 10(-3) min(-1) was associated with a birth weight below the tenth percentile in 60% of the pregnancies, whereas a conversion rate constant above this threshold was not associated with the same degree of growth retardation. The DLT continues to qualify as an accurate predictor of pregnancy outcome as judged by birth weight. Although it seems to be too cumbersome to serve as a screening technique, the DLT will permit evaluation of the efficacy of various pregnancy interventions directed toward improvement of the intrauterine environment, such as bed rest, tocolysis, or antihypertensive medication.
Nagey, DA; Pupkin, MJ; Mandeville, L; Schomberg, DW; Crenshaw, C
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