Metabolites 12 (2) 175 [2022-02-13; online 2022-02-13]
Umbilical cord blood is frequently used in health monitoring of the neonate. Results may be affected by the proportion of arterial and venous cord blood, the venous blood coming from the mother to supply oxygen and nutrients to the infant, and the arterial carrying waste products from the fetus. Here, we sampled arterial and venous umbilical cords separately from 48 newly delivered infants and examined plasma metabolomes using GC-MS/MS metabolomics. We investigated differences in metabolomes between arterial and venous blood and their associations with gestational length, birth weight, sex, and whether the baby was the first born or not, as well as maternal age and BMI. Using multilevel random forest analysis, a classification rate of 79% was achieved for arteriovenous differences (p = 0.004). Several monosaccharides had higher concentrations in the arterial cord plasma while amino acids were higher in venous plasma, suggesting that the main differences in the measured arterial and venous plasma metabolomes are related to amino acid and energy metabolism. Venous cord plasma metabolites related to energy metabolism were positively associated with parity (77% classification rate, p = 0.004) while arterial cord plasma metabolites were not. This underlines the importance of defining cord blood type for metabolomic studies.