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Prostaglandin F2α Concentrations in Peripheral Blood During the First Stage of Normal Labour

Br Med J 1973; 1 doi: (Published 24 March 1973) Cite this as: Br Med J 1973;1:709
  1. S. C. Sharma,
  2. B. M. Hibbard,
  3. J. D. Hamlett,
  4. R. J. Fitzpatrick


    Plasma prostaglandin F2α (PGF2α) concentrations were measured by radioimmunoassay in women in normal first stage labour. A continuous sampling technique was used spanning uterine contractions, and blood samples were divided into 15-second aliquots.

    A regular pattern of rise in prostaglandin levels in peripheral plasma was observed, with maximum concentrations in the antecubital vein being reached in most cases 15-45 seconds after the peak of a uterine contraction. The most likely explanation of this finding is that prostaglandins are released as a result of uterine contractions. The alternative possibility is that prostaglandins initiate uterine contractions. Further studies of the time taken for blood to reach the antecubital vein are needed to clarify the position.