Malaria in Pregnancy: The "Cortisol" and "Prolactin" Hypotheses

Pearson, Roy Douglas
July 2004
Clinical Infectious Diseases;7/1/2004, Vol. 39 Issue 1, p146
Academic Journal
This article examines the reasons for plasma high levels of cortisol, measured at the time of delivery, in the plasma of primi- and multiparous Gabonese women with Plasmodium falciparum infection. The 24-h period preceding and following delivery is a well-studied endocrinological series of events that includes a complex, amphoteric synergism between cortisol and prolactin, space allows for only a brief synopsis. During normal labor, primiparous women have been observed to have higher antepartem and early post-partum cortisol levels, whereas prolactin levels decrease during labor. There is no reason to believe that mothers and infants who survive until term do not have a normal physiological parturition.


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