alpha-Fetoproteins: The first alpha-globulins to appear in mammalian sera during FETAL DEVELOPMENT and the dominant serum proteins in early embryonic life.Pregnancy: The status during which female mammals carry their developing young (EMBRYOS or FETUSES) in utero before birth, beginning from FERTILIZATION to BIRTH.Estriol: A hydroxylated metabolite of ESTRADIOL or ESTRONE that has a hydroxyl group at C3, 16-alpha, and 17-beta position. Estriol is a major urinary estrogen. During PREGNANCY, a large amount of estriol is produced by the PLACENTA. Isomers with inversion of the hydroxyl group or groups are called epiestriol.Maternal Serum Screening Tests: Analysis of the level of specific BIOMARKERS in a pregnant woman's sera to identify those at risk for PREGNANCY COMPLICATIONS or BIRTH DEFECTS.Prenatal Diagnosis: Determination of the nature of a pathological condition or disease in the postimplantation EMBRYO; FETUS; or pregnant female before birth.Pregnancy-Associated Plasma Protein-A: A product of the PLACENTA, and DECIDUA, secreted into the maternal circulation during PREGNANCY. It has been identified as an IGF binding protein (IGFBP)-4 protease that proteolyzes IGFBP-4 and thus increases IGF bioavailability. It is found also in human FIBROBLASTS, ovarian FOLLICULAR FLUID, and GRANULOSA CELLS. The enzyme is a heterotetramer of about 500-kDa.Pregnancy Trimester, First: The beginning third of a human PREGNANCY, from the first day of the last normal menstrual period (MENSTRUATION) through the completion of 14 weeks (98 days) of gestation.Chorionic Gonadotropin, beta Subunit, Human: The beta subunit of human CHORIONIC GONADOTROPIN. Its structure is similar to the beta subunit of LUTEINIZING HORMONE, except for the additional 30 amino acids at the carboxy end with the associated carbohydrate residues. HCG-beta is used as a diagnostic marker for early detection of pregnancy, spontaneous abortion (ABORTION, SPONTANEOUS); ECTOPIC PREGNANCY; HYDATIDIFORM MOLE; CHORIOCARCINOMA; or DOWN SYNDROME.Down Syndrome: A chromosome disorder associated either with an extra chromosome 21 or an effective trisomy for chromosome 21. Clinical manifestations include hypotonia, short stature, brachycephaly, upslanting palpebral fissures, epicanthus, Brushfield spots on the iris, protruding tongue, small ears, short, broad hands, fifth finger clinodactyly, Simian crease, and moderate to severe INTELLECTUAL DISABILITY. Cardiac and gastrointestinal malformations, a marked increase in the incidence of LEUKEMIA, and the early onset of ALZHEIMER DISEASE are also associated with this condition. Pathologic features include the development of NEUROFIBRILLARY TANGLES in neurons and the deposition of AMYLOID BETA-PROTEIN, similar to the pathology of ALZHEIMER DISEASE. (Menkes, Textbook of Child Neurology, 5th ed, p213)Pregnancy Trimester, Second: The middle third of a human PREGNANCY, from the beginning of the 15th through the 28th completed week (99 to 196 days) of gestation.Maternal-Fetal Exchange: Exchange of substances between the maternal blood and the fetal blood at the PLACENTA via PLACENTAL CIRCULATION. The placental barrier excludes microbial or viral transmission.Amniocentesis: Percutaneous transabdominal puncture of the uterus during pregnancy to obtain amniotic fluid. It is commonly used for fetal karyotype determination in order to diagnose abnormal fetal conditions.Amniotic Fluid: A clear, yellowish liquid that envelopes the FETUS inside the sac of AMNION. In the first trimester, it is likely a transudate of maternal or fetal plasma. In the second trimester, amniotic fluid derives primarily from fetal lung and kidney. Cells or substances in this fluid can be removed for prenatal diagnostic tests (AMNIOCENTESIS).Serum: The clear portion of BLOOD that is left after BLOOD COAGULATION to remove BLOOD CELLS and clotting proteins.Gestational Age: The age of the conceptus, beginning from the time of FERTILIZATION. In clinical obstetrics, the gestational age is often estimated as the time from the last day of the last MENSTRUATION which is about 2 weeks before OVULATION and fertilization.Neural Tube Defects: Congenital malformations of the central nervous system and adjacent structures related to defective neural tube closure during the first trimester of pregnancy generally occurring between days 18-29 of gestation. Ectodermal and mesodermal malformations (mainly involving the skull and vertebrae) may occur as a result of defects of neural tube closure. (From Joynt, Clinical Neurology, 1992, Ch55, pp31-41)Pre-Eclampsia: A complication of PREGNANCY, characterized by a complex of symptoms including maternal HYPERTENSION and PROTEINURIA with or without pathological EDEMA. Symptoms may range between mild and severe. Pre-eclampsia usually occurs after the 20th week of gestation, but may develop before this time in the presence of trophoblastic disease.Pregnancy Trimester, Third: The last third of a human PREGNANCY, from the beginning of the 29th through the 42nd completed week (197 to 294 days) of gestation.Nuchal Translucency Measurement: A prenatal ultrasonography measurement of the soft tissue behind the fetal neck. Either the translucent area below the skin in the back of the fetal neck (nuchal translucency) or the distance between occipital bone to the outer skin line (nuchal fold) is measured.Pregnancy Proteins: Proteins produced by organs of the mother or the PLACENTA during PREGNANCY. These proteins may be pregnancy-specific (present only during pregnancy) or pregnancy-associated (present during pregnancy or under other conditions such as hormone therapy or certain malignancies.)Placenta: A highly vascularized mammalian fetal-maternal organ and major site of transport of oxygen, nutrients, and fetal waste products. It includes a fetal portion (CHORIONIC VILLI) derived from TROPHOBLASTS and a maternal portion (DECIDUA) derived from the uterine ENDOMETRIUM. The placenta produces an array of steroid, protein and peptide hormones (PLACENTAL HORMONES).Fetal Blood: Blood of the fetus. Exchange of nutrients and waste between the fetal and maternal blood occurs via the PLACENTA. The cord blood is blood contained in the umbilical vessels (UMBILICAL CORD) at the time of delivery.Fetal Diseases: Pathophysiological conditions of the FETUS in the UTERUS. Some fetal diseases may be treated with FETAL THERAPIES.Maternal Age: The age of the mother in PREGNANCY.Biological Markers: Measurable and quantifiable biological parameters (e.g., specific enzyme concentration, specific hormone concentration, specific gene phenotype distribution in a population, presence of biological substances) which serve as indices for health- and physiology-related assessments, such as disease risk, psychiatric disorders, environmental exposure and its effects, disease diagnosis, metabolic processes, substance abuse, pregnancy, cell line development, epidemiologic studies, etc.Crown-Rump Length: In utero measurement corresponding to the sitting height (crown to rump) of the fetus. Length is considered a more accurate criterion of the age of the fetus than is the weight. The average crown-rump length of the fetus at term is 36 cm. (From Williams Obstetrics, 18th ed, p91)Chorionic Gonadotropin: A gonadotropic glycoprotein hormone produced primarily by the PLACENTA. Similar to the pituitary LUTEINIZING HORMONE in structure and function, chorionic gonadotropin is involved in maintaining the CORPUS LUTEUM during pregnancy. CG consists of two noncovalently linked subunits, alpha and beta. Within a species, the alpha subunit is virtually identical to the alpha subunits of the three pituitary glycoprotein hormones (TSH, LH, and FSH), but the beta subunit is unique and confers its biological specificity (CHORIONIC GONADOTROPIN, BETA SUBUNIT, HUMAN).Infant, Newborn: An infant during the first month after birth.Pregnancy Complications: Conditions or pathological processes associated with pregnancy. They can occur during or after pregnancy, and range from minor discomforts to serious diseases that require medical interventions. They include diseases in pregnant females, and pregnancies in females with diseases.Ultrasonography, Prenatal: The visualization of tissues during pregnancy through recording of the echoes of ultrasonic waves directed into the body. The procedure may be applied with reference to the mother or the fetus and with reference to organs or the detection of maternal or fetal disease.Pregnancy, High-Risk: Pregnancy in which the mother and/or FETUS are at greater than normal risk of MORBIDITY or MORTALITY. Causes include inadequate PRENATAL CARE, previous obstetrical history (ABORTION, SPONTANEOUS), pre-existing maternal disease, pregnancy-induced disease (GESTATIONAL HYPERTENSION), and MULTIPLE PREGNANCY, as well as advanced maternal age above 35.Serum Albumin: A major protein in the BLOOD. It is important in maintaining the colloidal osmotic pressure and transporting large organic molecules.Dichlorodiphenyl Dichloroethylene: An organochlorine pesticide, it is the ethylene metabolite of DDT.Fetus: The unborn young of a viviparous mammal, in the postembryonic period, after the major structures have been outlined. In humans, the unborn young from the end of the eighth week after CONCEPTION until BIRTH, as distinguished from the earlier EMBRYO, MAMMALIAN.Inhibins: Glycoproteins that inhibit pituitary FOLLICLE STIMULATING HORMONE secretion. Inhibins are secreted by the Sertoli cells of the testes, the granulosa cells of the ovarian follicles, the placenta, and other tissues. Inhibins and ACTIVINS are modulators of FOLLICLE STIMULATING HORMONE secretions; both groups belong to the TGF-beta superfamily, as the TRANSFORMING GROWTH FACTOR BETA. Inhibins consist of a disulfide-linked heterodimer with a unique alpha linked to either a beta A or a beta B subunit to form inhibin A or inhibin B, respectivelyFalse Positive Reactions: Positive test results in subjects who do not possess the attribute for which the test is conducted. The labeling of healthy persons as diseased when screening in the detection of disease. (Last, A Dictionary of Epidemiology, 2d ed)Pregnancy Outcome: Results of conception and ensuing pregnancy, including LIVE BIRTH; STILLBIRTH; SPONTANEOUS ABORTION; INDUCED ABORTION. The outcome may follow natural or artificial insemination or any of the various ASSISTED REPRODUCTIVE TECHNIQUES, such as EMBRYO TRANSFER or FERTILIZATION IN VITRO.Pregnancy-Specific beta 1-Glycoproteins: Glycoproteins with the electrophoretic mobility of BETA-GLOBULINS, secreted by the placental TROPHOBLASTS into the maternal bloodstream during PREGNANCY. They can be detected 18 days after OVULATION and reach 200 mg/ml at the end of pregnancy. They are associated with fetal well-being.Maternal Exposure: Exposure of the female parent, human or animal, to potentially harmful chemical, physical, or biological agents in the environment or to environmental factors that may include ionizing radiation, pathogenic organisms, or toxic chemicals that may affect offspring. It includes pre-conception maternal exposure.Fetal Growth Retardation: The failure of a FETUS to attain its expected FETAL GROWTH at any GESTATIONAL AGE.Neck: The part of a human or animal body connecting the HEAD to the rest of the body.Fetal Development: Morphological and physiological development of FETUSES.Trisomy: The possession of a third chromosome of any one type in an otherwise diploid cell.Case-Control Studies: Studies which start with the identification of persons with a disease of interest and a control (comparison, referent) group without the disease. The relationship of an attribute to the disease is examined by comparing diseased and non-diseased persons with regard to the frequency or levels of the attribute in each group.Infant, Small for Gestational Age: An infant having a birth weight lower than expected for its gestational age.Birth Weight: The mass or quantity of heaviness of an individual at BIRTH. It is expressed by units of pounds or kilograms.Milk, HumanPolychlorinated Biphenyls: Industrial products consisting of a mixture of chlorinated biphenyl congeners and isomers. These compounds are highly lipophilic and tend to accumulate in fat stores of animals. Many of these compounds are considered toxic and potential environmental pollutants.Premature Birth: CHILDBIRTH before 37 weeks of PREGNANCY (259 days from the first day of the mother's last menstrual period, or 245 days after FERTILIZATION).Fetomaternal Transfusion: Transplacental passage of fetal blood into the circulation of the maternal organism. (Dorland, 27th ed)Pregnancy, Tubal: The most common (>96%) type of ectopic pregnancy in which the extrauterine EMBRYO IMPLANTATION occurs in the FALLOPIAN TUBE, usually in the ampullary region where FERTILIZATION takes place.Prospective Studies: Observation of a population for a sufficient number of persons over a sufficient number of years to generate incidence or mortality rates subsequent to the selection of the study group.Abortion, Eugenic: Abortion performed because of possible fetal defects.Chromosome Disorders: Clinical conditions caused by an abnormal chromosome constitution in which there is extra or missing chromosome material (either a whole chromosome or a chromosome segment). (from Thompson et al., Genetics in Medicine, 5th ed, p429)Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects: The consequences of exposing the FETUS in utero to certain factors, such as NUTRITION PHYSIOLOGICAL PHENOMENA; PHYSIOLOGICAL STRESS; DRUGS; RADIATION; and other physical or chemical factors. These consequences are observed later in the offspring after BIRTH.Predictive Value of Tests: In screening and diagnostic tests, the probability that a person with a positive test is a true positive (i.e., has the disease), is referred to as the predictive value of a positive test; whereas, the predictive value of a negative test is the probability that the person with a negative test does not have the disease. Predictive value is related to the sensitivity and specificity of the test.Placenta Diseases: Pathological processes or abnormal functions of the PLACENTA.Culdoscopy: Endoscopic examination, therapy or surgery of the female pelvic viscera by means of an endoscope introduced into the pelvic cavity through the posterior vaginal fornix.Infant, Newborn, Diseases: Diseases of newborn infants present at birth (congenital) or developing within the first month of birth. It does not include hereditary diseases not manifesting at birth or within the first 30 days of life nor does it include inborn errors of metabolism. Both HEREDITARY DISEASES and METABOLISM, INBORN ERRORS are available as general concepts.Sensitivity and Specificity: Binary classification measures to assess test results. Sensitivity or recall rate is the proportion of true positives. Specificity is the probability of correctly determining the absence of a condition. (From Last, Dictionary of Epidemiology, 2d ed)Placentation: The development of the PLACENTA, a highly vascularized mammalian fetal-maternal organ and major site of transport of oxygen, nutrients, and fetal waste products between mother and FETUS. The process begins at FERTILIZATION, through the development of CYTOTROPHOBLASTS and SYNCYTIOTROPHOBLASTS, the formation of CHORIONIC VILLI, to the progressive increase in BLOOD VESSELS to support the growing fetus.Trophoblasts: Cells lining the outside of the BLASTOCYST. After binding to the ENDOMETRIUM, trophoblasts develop into two distinct layers, an inner layer of mononuclear cytotrophoblasts and an outer layer of continuous multinuclear cytoplasm, the syncytiotrophoblasts, which form the early fetal-maternal interface (PLACENTA).Activins: Activins are produced in the pituitary, gonads, and other tissues. By acting locally, they stimulate pituitary FSH secretion and have diverse effects on cell differentiation and embryonic development. Activins are glycoproteins that are hetero- or homodimers of INHIBIN-BETA SUBUNITS.HELLP Syndrome: A syndrome of HEMOLYSIS, elevated liver ENZYMES, and low blood platelets count (THROMBOCYTOPENIA). HELLP syndrome is observed in pregnant women with PRE-ECLAMPSIA or ECLAMPSIA who also exhibit LIVER damage and abnormalities in BLOOD COAGULATION.Postpartum Period: In females, the period that is shortly after giving birth (PARTURITION).Douglas' Pouch: A sac or recess formed by a fold of the peritoneum.Galectins: A class of animal lectins that bind specifically to beta-galactoside in a calcium-independent manner. Members of this class are distiguished from other lectins by the presence of a conserved carbohydrate recognition domain. The majority of proteins in this class bind to sugar molecules in a sulfhydryl-dependent manner and are often referred to as S-type lectins, however this property is not required for membership in this class.Fetal Death: Death of the developing young in utero. BIRTH of a dead FETUS is STILLBIRTH.Mass Screening: Organized periodic procedures performed on large groups of people for the purpose of detecting disease.Chromosomes, Human, Pair 18: A specific pair of GROUP E CHROMOSOMES of the human chromosome classification.Radioimmunoassay: Classic quantitative assay for detection of antigen-antibody reactions using a radioactively labeled substance (radioligand) either directly or indirectly to measure the binding of the unlabeled substance to a specific antibody or other receptor system. Non-immunogenic substances (e.g., haptens) can be measured if coupled to larger carrier proteins (e.g., bovine gamma-globulin or human serum albumin) capable of inducing antibody formation.Mothers: Female parents, human or animal.Serum Albumin, Bovine: Serum albumin from cows, commonly used in in vitro biological studies. (From Stedman, 25th ed)Environmental Pollutants: Substances or energies, for example heat or light, which when introduced into the air, water, or land threaten life or health of individuals or ECOSYSTEMS.Sex Determination Analysis: Validation of the SEX of an individual by inspection of the GONADS and/or by genetic tests.Uterus: The hollow thick-walled muscular organ in the female PELVIS. It consists of the fundus (the body) which is the site of EMBRYO IMPLANTATION and FETAL DEVELOPMENT. Beyond the isthmus at the perineal end of fundus, is CERVIX UTERI (the neck) opening into VAGINA. Beyond the isthmi at the upper abdominal end of fundus, are the FALLOPIAN TUBES.Pregnancy, Animal: The process of bearing developing young (EMBRYOS or FETUSES) in utero in non-human mammals, beginning from FERTILIZATION to BIRTH.Labor, Obstetric: The repetitive uterine contraction during childbirth which is associated with the progressive dilation of the uterine cervix (CERVIX UTERI). Successful labor results in the expulsion of the FETUS and PLACENTA. Obstetric labor can be spontaneous or induced (LABOR, INDUCED).Placental Lactogen: A polypeptide hormone of approximately 25 kDa that is produced by the SYNCYTIOTROPHOBLASTS of the PLACENTA, also known as chorionic somatomammotropin. It has both GROWTH HORMONE and PROLACTIN activities on growth, lactation, and luteal steroid production. In women, placental lactogen secretion begins soon after implantation and increases to 1 g or more a day in late pregnancy. Placental lactogen is also an insulin antagonist.Hydrocarbons, Chlorinated: Hydrocarbon compounds with one or more of the hydrogens replaced by CHLORINE.Pregnancy Reduction, Multifetal: Selective abortion of one or more embryos or fetuses in a multiple gestation pregnancy. The usual goal is to improve the outcome for the remaining embryos or fetuses.Congenital Abnormalities: Malformations of organs or body parts during development in utero.Genes, sry: The primary testis-determining gene in mammalians, located on the Y CHROMOSOME. It codes for a high mobility group box transcription factor (TRANSCRIPTION FACTORS) which initiates the development of the TESTES from the embryonic GONADS.Inhibin-beta Subunits: They are glycopeptides and subunits in INHIBINS and ACTIVINS. Inhibins and activins belong to the transforming growth factor beta superfamily.TetramisoleAbortion, Spontaneous: Expulsion of the product of FERTILIZATION before completing the term of GESTATION and without deliberate interference.Pregnancy, Multiple: The condition of carrying two or more FETUSES simultaneously.Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay: An immunoassay utilizing an antibody labeled with an enzyme marker such as horseradish peroxidase. While either the enzyme or the antibody is bound to an immunosorbent substrate, they both retain their biologic activity; the change in enzyme activity as a result of the enzyme-antibody-antigen reaction is proportional to the concentration of the antigen and can be measured spectrophotometrically or with the naked eye. Many variations of the method have been developed.Genetic Testing: Detection of a MUTATION; GENOTYPE; KARYOTYPE; or specific ALLELES associated with genetic traits, heritable diseases, or predisposition to a disease, or that may lead to the disease in descendants. It includes prenatal genetic testing.Immunoglobulin G: The major immunoglobulin isotype class in normal human serum. There are several isotype subclasses of IgG, for example, IgG1, IgG2A, and IgG2B.Body Fluids: Liquid components of living organisms.Reference Values: The range or frequency distribution of a measurement in a population (of organisms, organs or things) that has not been selected for the presence of disease or abnormality.Abortion, Threatened: UTERINE BLEEDING from a GESTATION of less than 20 weeks without any CERVICAL DILATATION. It is characterized by vaginal bleeding, lower back discomfort, or midline pelvic cramping and a risk factor for MISCARRIAGE.Hydatidiform Mole: Trophoblastic hyperplasia associated with normal gestation, or molar pregnancy. It is characterized by the swelling of the CHORIONIC VILLI and elevated human CHORIONIC GONADOTROPIN. Hydatidiform moles or molar pregnancy may be categorized as complete or partial based on their gross morphology, histopathology, and karyotype.Twins: Two individuals derived from two FETUSES that were fertilized at or about the same time, developed in the UTERUS simultaneously, and born to the same mother. Twins are either monozygotic (TWINS, MONOZYGOTIC) or dizygotic (TWINS, DIZYGOTIC).Risk Factors: An aspect of personal behavior or lifestyle, environmental exposure, or inborn or inherited characteristic, which, on the basis of epidemiologic evidence, is known to be associated with a health-related condition considered important to prevent.Uterine Artery: A branch arising from the internal iliac artery in females, that supplies blood to the uterus.Pregnancy Complications, Cardiovascular: The co-occurrence of pregnancy and a cardiovascular disease. The disease may precede or follow FERTILIZATION and it may or may not have a deleterious effect on the pregnant woman or FETUS.Fetal Weight: The weight of the FETUS in utero. It is usually estimated by various formulas based on measurements made during PRENATAL ULTRASONOGRAPHY.DDT: A polychlorinated pesticide that is resistant to destruction by light and oxidation. Its unusual stability has resulted in difficulties in residue removal from water, soil, and foodstuffs. This substance may reasonably be anticipated to be a carcinogen: Fourth Annual Report on Carcinogens (NTP-85-002, 1985). (From Merck Index, 11th ed)Obstetric Labor, Premature: Onset of OBSTETRIC LABOR before term (TERM BIRTH) but usually after the FETUS has become viable. In humans, it occurs sometime during the 29th through 38th week of PREGNANCY. TOCOLYSIS inhibits premature labor and can prevent the BIRTH of premature infants (INFANT, PREMATURE).Diabetes, Gestational: Diabetes mellitus induced by PREGNANCY but resolved at the end of pregnancy. It does not include previously diagnosed diabetics who become pregnant (PREGNANCY IN DIABETICS). Gestational diabetes usually develops in late pregnancy when insulin antagonistic hormones peaks leading to INSULIN RESISTANCE; GLUCOSE INTOLERANCE; and HYPERGLYCEMIA.Prenatal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena: Nutrition of FEMALE during PREGNANCY.Adiponectin: A 30-kDa COMPLEMENT C1Q-related protein, the most abundant gene product secreted by FAT CELLS of the white ADIPOSE TISSUE. Adiponectin modulates several physiological processes, such as metabolism of GLUCOSE and FATTY ACIDS, and immune responses. Decreased plasma adiponectin levels are associated with INSULIN RESISTANCE; TYPE 2 DIABETES MELLITUS; OBESITY; and ATHEROSCLEROSIS.Fluorocarbons: Liquid perfluorinated carbon compounds which may or may not contain a hetero atom such as nitrogen, oxygen or sulfur, but do not contain another halogen or hydrogen atom. This concept includes fluorocarbon emulsions and fluorocarbon blood substitutes.Time Factors: Elements of limited time intervals, contributing to particular results or situations.Lactation: The processes of milk secretion by the maternal MAMMARY GLANDS after PARTURITION. The proliferation of the mammary glandular tissue, milk synthesis, and milk expulsion or let down are regulated by the interactions of several hormones including ESTRADIOL; PROGESTERONE; PROLACTIN; and OXYTOCIN.Cohort Studies: Studies in which subsets of a defined population are identified. These groups may or may not be exposed to factors hypothesized to influence the probability of the occurrence of a particular disease or other outcome. Cohorts are defined populations which, as a whole, are followed in an attempt to determine distinguishing subgroup characteristics.Follistatin: A broadly distributed protein that binds directly to ACTIVINS. It functions as an activin antagonist, inhibits FOLLICLE STIMULATING HORMONE secretion, regulates CELL DIFFERENTIATION, and plays an important role in embryogenesis. Follistatin is a single glycosylated polypeptide chain of approximately 37-kDa and is not a member of the inhibin family (INHIBINS). Follistatin also binds and neutralizes many members of the TRANSFORMING GROWTH FACTOR BETA family.Pregnancy Complications, Infectious: The co-occurrence of pregnancy and an INFECTION. The infection may precede or follow FERTILIZATION.Immunity, Maternally-Acquired: Resistance to a disease-causing agent induced by the introduction of maternal immunity into the fetus by transplacental transfer or into the neonate through colostrum and milk.Pregnancy Trimesters: The three approximately equal periods of a normal human PREGNANCY. Each trimester is about three months or 13 to 14 weeks in duration depending on the designation of the first day of gestation.Vitamin D: A vitamin that includes both CHOLECALCIFEROLS and ERGOCALCIFEROLS, which have the common effect of preventing or curing RICKETS in animals. It can also be viewed as a hormone since it can be formed in SKIN by action of ULTRAVIOLET RAYS upon the precursors, 7-dehydrocholesterol and ERGOSTEROL, and acts on VITAMIN D RECEPTORS to regulate CALCIUM in opposition to PARATHYROID HORMONE.Karyotyping: Mapping of the KARYOTYPE of a cell.Pregnancy in Diabetics: The state of PREGNANCY in women with DIABETES MELLITUS. This does not include either symptomatic diabetes or GLUCOSE INTOLERANCE induced by pregnancy (DIABETES, GESTATIONAL) which resolves at the end of pregnancy.Extraembryonic Membranes: The thin layers of tissue that surround the developing embryo. There are four extra-embryonic membranes commonly found in VERTEBRATES, such as REPTILES; BIRDS; and MAMMALS. They are the YOLK SAC, the ALLANTOIS, the AMNION, and the CHORION. These membranes provide protection and means to transport nutrients and wastes.Maternal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena: Nutrition of a mother which affects the health of the FETUS and INFANT as well as herself.Aneuploidy: The chromosomal constitution of cells which deviate from the normal by the addition or subtraction of CHROMOSOMES, chromosome pairs, or chromosome fragments. In a normally diploid cell (DIPLOIDY) the loss of a chromosome pair is termed nullisomy (symbol: 2N-2), the loss of a single chromosome is MONOSOMY (symbol: 2N-1), the addition of a chromosome pair is tetrasomy (symbol: 2N+2), the addition of a single chromosome is TRISOMY (symbol: 2N+1).Cross-Sectional Studies: Studies in which the presence or absence of disease or other health-related variables are determined in each member of the study population or in a representative sample at one particular time. This contrasts with LONGITUDINAL STUDIES which are followed over a period of time.Folic Acid: A member of the vitamin B family that stimulates the hematopoietic system. It is present in the liver and kidney and is found in mushrooms, spinach, yeast, green leaves, and grasses (POACEAE). Folic acid is used in the treatment and prevention of folate deficiencies and megaloblastic anemia.Progesterone: The major progestational steroid that is secreted primarily by the CORPUS LUTEUM and the PLACENTA. Progesterone acts on the UTERUS, the MAMMARY GLANDS and the BRAIN. It is required in EMBRYO IMPLANTATION; PREGNANCY maintenance, and the development of mammary tissue for MILK production. Progesterone, converted from PREGNENOLONE, also serves as an intermediate in the biosynthesis of GONADAL STEROID HORMONES and adrenal CORTICOSTEROIDS.Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Receptor-1: A 180-kDa VEGF receptor found primarily in endothelial cells that is essential for vasculogenesis and vascular maintenance. It is also known as Flt-1 (fms-like tyrosine kinase receptor-1). A soluble, alternatively spliced isoform of the receptor may serve as a binding protein that regulates the availability of various ligands for VEGF receptor binding and signal transduction.Pyelonephritis: Inflammation of the KIDNEY involving the renal parenchyma (the NEPHRONS); KIDNEY PELVIS; and KIDNEY CALICES. It is characterized by ABDOMINAL PAIN; FEVER; NAUSEA; VOMITING; and occasionally DIARRHEA.Fertilization in Vitro: An assisted reproductive technique that includes the direct handling and manipulation of oocytes and sperm to achieve fertilization in vitro.Regression Analysis: Procedures for finding the mathematical function which best describes the relationship between a dependent variable and one or more independent variables. In linear regression (see LINEAR MODELS) the relationship is constrained to be a straight line and LEAST-SQUARES ANALYSIS is used to determine the best fit. In logistic regression (see LOGISTIC MODELS) the dependent variable is qualitative rather than continuously variable and LIKELIHOOD FUNCTIONS are used to find the best relationship. In multiple regression, the dependent variable is considered to depend on more than a single independent variable.Linear Models: Statistical models in which the value of a parameter for a given value of a factor is assumed to be equal to a + bx, where a and b are constants. The models predict a linear regression.Retrospective Studies: Studies used to test etiologic hypotheses in which inferences about an exposure to putative causal factors are derived from data relating to characteristics of persons under study or to events or experiences in their past. The essential feature is that some of the persons under study have the disease or outcome of interest and their characteristics are compared with those of unaffected persons.Prenatal Care: Care provided the pregnant woman in order to prevent complications, and decrease the incidence of maternal and prenatal mortality.Chromosome Aberrations: Abnormal number or structure of chromosomes. Chromosome aberrations may result in CHROMOSOME DISORDERS.ROC Curve: A graphic means for assessing the ability of a screening test to discriminate between healthy and diseased persons; may also be used in other studies, e.g., distinguishing stimuli responses as to a faint stimuli or nonstimuli.Arteries: The vessels carrying blood away from the heart.Ultrasonography: The visualization of deep structures of the body by recording the reflections or echoes of ultrasonic pulses directed into the tissues. Use of ultrasound for imaging or diagnostic purposes employs frequencies ranging from 1.6 to 10 megahertz.Risk: The probability that an event will occur. It encompasses a variety of measures of the probability of a generally unfavorable outcome.Infant, Premature: A human infant born before 37 weeks of GESTATION.Body Weight: The mass or quantity of heaviness of an individual. It is expressed by units of pounds or kilograms.Intracranial Hemorrhages: Bleeding within the SKULL, including hemorrhages in the brain and the three membranes of MENINGES. The escape of blood often leads to the formation of HEMATOMA in the cranial epidural, subdural, and subarachnoid spaces.Tricuspid Valve Insufficiency: Backflow of blood from the RIGHT VENTRICLE into the RIGHT ATRIUM due to imperfect closure of the TRICUSPID VALVE.Abnormalities, MultipleBreast Feeding: The nursing of an infant at the breast.C-Reactive Protein: A plasma protein that circulates in increased amounts during inflammation and after tissue damage.Pilot Projects: Small-scale tests of methods and procedures to be used on a larger scale if the pilot study demonstrates that these methods and procedures can work.Leptin: A 16-kDa peptide hormone secreted from WHITE ADIPOCYTES. Leptin serves as a feedback signal from fat cells to the CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM in regulation of food intake, energy balance, and fat storage.Serum Globulins: All blood proteins except albumin ( = SERUM ALBUMIN, which is not a globulin) and FIBRINOGEN (which is not in the serum). The serum globulins are subdivided into ALPHA-GLOBULINS; BETA-GLOBULINS; and GAMMA-GLOBULINS on the basis of their electrophoretic mobilities. (From Dorland, 28th ed)Embryo Transfer: The transfer of mammalian embryos from an in vivo or in vitro environment to a suitable host to improve pregnancy or gestational outcome in human or animal. In human fertility treatment programs, preimplantation embryos ranging from the 4-cell stage to the blastocyst stage are transferred to the uterine cavity between 3-5 days after FERTILIZATION IN VITRO.Osmolar Concentration: The concentration of osmotically active particles in solution expressed in terms of osmoles of solute per liter of solution. Osmolality is expressed in terms of osmoles of solute per kilogram of solvent.Solubility: The ability of a substance to be dissolved, i.e. to form a solution with another substance. (From McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, 6th ed)Blood Proteins: Proteins that are present in blood serum, including SERUM ALBUMIN; BLOOD COAGULATION FACTORS; and many other types of proteins.Embryonic and Fetal Development: Morphological and physiological development of EMBRYOS or FETUSES.Risk Assessment: The qualitative or quantitative estimation of the likelihood of adverse effects that may result from exposure to specified health hazards or from the absence of beneficial influences. (Last, Dictionary of Epidemiology, 1988)Vitamin D Deficiency: A nutritional condition produced by a deficiency of VITAMIN D in the diet, insufficient production of vitamin D in the skin, inadequate absorption of vitamin D from the diet, or abnormal conversion of vitamin D to its bioactive metabolites. It is manifested clinically as RICKETS in children and OSTEOMALACIA in adults. (From Cecil Textbook of Medicine, 19th ed, p1406)Ultrasonography, Doppler, Color: Ultrasonography applying the Doppler effect, with the superposition of flow information as colors on a gray scale in a real-time image. This type of ultrasonography is well-suited to identifying the location of high-velocity flow (such as in a stenosis) or of mapping the extent of flow in a certain region.Serum Response Factor: A MADS domain-containing transcription factor that binds to the SERUM RESPONSE ELEMENT in the promoter-enhancer region of many genes. It is one of the four founder proteins that structurally define the superfamily of MADS DOMAIN PROTEINS.Parity: The number of offspring a female has borne. It is contrasted with GRAVIDITY, which refers to the number of pregnancies, regardless of outcome.Longitudinal Studies: Studies in which variables relating to an individual or group of individuals are assessed over a period of time.Reproducibility of Results: The statistical reproducibility of measurements (often in a clinical context), including the testing of instrumentation or techniques to obtain reproducible results. The concept includes reproducibility of physiological measurements, which may be used to develop rules to assess probability or prognosis, or response to a stimulus; reproducibility of occurrence of a condition; and reproducibility of experimental results.Odds Ratio: The ratio of two odds. The exposure-odds ratio for case control data is the ratio of the odds in favor of exposure among cases to the odds in favor of exposure among noncases. The disease-odds ratio for a cohort or cross section is the ratio of the odds in favor of disease among the exposed to the odds in favor of disease among the unexposed. The prevalence-odds ratio refers to an odds ratio derived cross-sectionally from studies of prevalent cases.Blood: The body fluid that circulates in the vascular system (BLOOD VESSELS). Whole blood includes PLASMA and BLOOD CELLS.CaliforniaDNA: A deoxyribonucleotide polymer that is the primary genetic material of all cells. Eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms normally contain DNA in a double-stranded state, yet several important biological processes transiently involve single-stranded regions. DNA, which consists of a polysugar-phosphate backbone possessing projections of purines (adenine and guanine) and pyrimidines (thymine and cytosine), forms a double helix that is held together by hydrogen bonds between these purines and pyrimidines (adenine to thymine and guanine to cytosine).Logistic Models: Statistical models which describe the relationship between a qualitative dependent variable (that is, one which can take only certain discrete values, such as the presence or absence of a disease) and an independent variable. A common application is in epidemiology for estimating an individual's risk (probability of a disease) as a function of a given risk factor.Sepsis: Systemic inflammatory response syndrome with a proven or suspected infectious etiology. When sepsis is associated with organ dysfunction distant from the site of infection, it is called severe sepsis. When sepsis is accompanied by HYPOTENSION despite adequate fluid infusion, it is called SEPTIC SHOCK.Cholesterol: The principal sterol of all higher animals, distributed in body tissues, especially the brain and spinal cord, and in animal fats and oils.Chi-Square Distribution: A distribution in which a variable is distributed like the sum of the squares of any given independent random variable, each of which has a normal distribution with mean of zero and variance of one. The chi-square test is a statistical test based on comparison of a test statistic to a chi-square distribution. The oldest of these tests are used to detect whether two or more population distributions differ from one another.Immune Sera: Serum that contains antibodies. It is obtained from an animal that has been immunized either by ANTIGEN injection or infection with microorganisms containing the antigen.Liver: A large lobed glandular organ in the abdomen of vertebrates that is responsible for detoxification, metabolism, synthesis and storage of various substances.Serum Sickness: Immune complex disease caused by the administration of foreign serum or serum proteins and characterized by fever, lymphadenopathy, arthralgia, and urticaria. When they are complexed to protein carriers, some drugs can also cause serum sickness when they act as haptens inducing antibody responses.Immunoglobulin A: Represents 15-20% of the human serum immunoglobulins, mostly as the 4-chain polymer in humans or dimer in other mammals. Secretory IgA (IMMUNOGLOBULIN A, SECRETORY) is the main immunoglobulin in secretions.Immunoglobulin M: A class of immunoglobulin bearing mu chains (IMMUNOGLOBULIN MU-CHAINS). IgM can fix COMPLEMENT. The name comes from its high molecular weight and originally being called a macroglobulin.Antibodies, Bacterial: Immunoglobulins produced in a response to BACTERIAL ANTIGENS.CreatinineBlood Bactericidal Activity: The natural bactericidal property of BLOOD due to normally occurring antibacterial substances such as beta lysin, leukin, etc. This activity needs to be distinguished from the bactericidal activity contained in a patient's serum as a result of antimicrobial therapy, which is measured by a SERUM BACTERICIDAL TEST.Lipids: A generic term for fats and lipoids, the alcohol-ether-soluble constituents of protoplasm, which are insoluble in water. They comprise the fats, fatty oils, essential oils, waxes, phospholipids, glycolipids, sulfolipids, aminolipids, chromolipids (lipochromes), and fatty acids. (Grant & Hackh's Chemical Dictionary, 5th ed)Blood Physiological Phenomena: Physiological processes and properties of the BLOOD.Serum Amyloid P-Component: Amyloid P component is a small, non-fibrillar glycoprotein found in normal serum and in all amyloid deposits. It has a pentagonal (pentaxin) structure. It is an acute phase protein, modulates immunologic responses, inhibits ELASTASE, and has been suggested as an indicator of LIVER DISEASE.Serum Bactericidal Test: Method of measuring the bactericidal activity contained in a patient's serum as a result of antimicrobial therapy. It is used to monitor the therapy in BACTERIAL ENDOCARDITIS; OSTEOMYELITIS and other serious bacterial infections. As commonly performed, the test is a variation of the broth dilution test. This test needs to be distinguished from testing of the naturally occurring BLOOD BACTERICIDAL ACTIVITY.Cattle: Domesticated bovine animals of the genus Bos, usually kept on a farm or ranch and used for the production of meat or dairy products or for heavy labor.Immunoassay: A technique using antibodies for identifying or quantifying a substance. Usually the substance being studied serves as antigen both in antibody production and in measurement of antibody by the test substance.Thyroxine: The major hormone derived from the thyroid gland. Thyroxine is synthesized via the iodination of tyrosines (MONOIODOTYROSINE) and the coupling of iodotyrosines (DIIODOTYROSINE) in the THYROGLOBULIN. Thyroxine is released from thyroglobulin by proteolysis and secreted into the blood. Thyroxine is peripherally deiodinated to form TRIIODOTHYRONINE which exerts a broad spectrum of stimulatory effects on cell metabolism.TriglyceridesBilirubin: A bile pigment that is a degradation product of HEME.Blood Chemical Analysis: An examination of chemicals in the blood.Ferritins: Iron-containing proteins that are widely distributed in animals, plants, and microorganisms. Their major function is to store IRON in a nontoxic bioavailable form. Each ferritin molecule consists of ferric iron in a hollow protein shell (APOFERRITINS) made of 24 subunits of various sequences depending on the species and tissue types.Uric Acid: An oxidation product, via XANTHINE OXIDASE, of oxypurines such as XANTHINE and HYPOXANTHINE. It is the final oxidation product of purine catabolism in humans and primates, whereas in most other mammals URATE OXIDASE further oxidizes it to ALLANTOIN.Rabbits: The species Oryctolagus cuniculus, in the family Leporidae, order LAGOMORPHA. Rabbits are born in burrows, furless, and with eyes and ears closed. In contrast with HARES, rabbits have 22 chromosome pairs.Autoantibodies: Antibodies that react with self-antigens (AUTOANTIGENS) of the organism that produced them.Parathyroid Hormone: A polypeptide hormone (84 amino acid residues) secreted by the PARATHYROID GLANDS which performs the essential role of maintaining intracellular CALCIUM levels in the body. Parathyroid hormone increases intracellular calcium by promoting the release of CALCIUM from BONE, increases the intestinal absorption of calcium, increases the renal tubular reabsorption of calcium, and increases the renal excretion of phosphates.Culture Media: Any liquid or solid preparation made specifically for the growth, storage, or transport of microorganisms or other types of cells. The variety of media that exist allow for the culturing of specific microorganisms and cell types, such as differential media, selective media, test media, and defined media. Solid media consist of liquid media that have been solidified with an agent such as AGAR or GELATIN.Aspartate Aminotransferases: Enzymes of the transferase class that catalyze the conversion of L-aspartate and 2-ketoglutarate to oxaloacetate and L-glutamate. EC 126.96.36.199.Antibodies, Viral: Immunoglobulins produced in response to VIRAL ANTIGENS.Alkaline Phosphatase: An enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of an orthophosphoric monoester and water to an alcohol and orthophosphate. EC 188.8.131.52.Testosterone: A potent androgenic steroid and major product secreted by the LEYDIG CELLS of the TESTIS. Its production is stimulated by LUTEINIZING HORMONE from the PITUITARY GLAND. In turn, testosterone exerts feedback control of the pituitary LH and FSH secretion. Depending on the tissues, testosterone can be further converted to DIHYDROTESTOSTERONE or ESTRADIOL.Alanine Transaminase: An enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of L-alanine and 2-oxoglutarate to pyruvate and L-glutamate. (From Enzyme Nomenclature, 1992) EC 184.108.40.206.Cells, Cultured: Cells propagated in vitro in special media conducive to their growth. Cultured cells are used to study developmental, morphologic, metabolic, physiologic, and genetic processes, among others.Antibodies: Immunoglobulin molecules having a specific amino acid sequence by virtue of which they interact only with the ANTIGEN (or a very similar shape) that induced their synthesis in cells of the lymphoid series (especially PLASMA CELLS).Tumor Markers, Biological: Molecular products metabolized and secreted by neoplastic tissue and characterized biochemically in cells or body fluids. They are indicators of tumor stage and grade as well as useful for monitoring responses to treatment and predicting recurrence. Many chemical groups are represented including hormones, antigens, amino and nucleic acids, enzymes, polyamines, and specific cell membrane proteins and lipids.Antilymphocyte Serum: Serum containing GAMMA-GLOBULINS which are antibodies for lymphocyte ANTIGENS. It is used both as a test for HISTOCOMPATIBILITY and therapeutically in TRANSPLANTATION.Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid: Liquid chromatographic techniques which feature high inlet pressures, high sensitivity, and high speed.Prognosis: A prediction of the probable outcome of a disease based on a individual's condition and the usual course of the disease as seen in similar situations.Immunoelectrophoresis: A technique that combines protein electrophoresis and double immunodiffusion. In this procedure proteins are first separated by gel electrophoresis (usually agarose), then made visible by immunodiffusion of specific antibodies. A distinct elliptical precipitin arc results for each protein detectable by the antisera.Culture Media, Serum-Free: CULTURE MEDIA free of serum proteins but including the minimal essential substances required for cell growth. This type of medium avoids the presence of extraneous substances that may affect cell proliferation or unwanted activation of cells.Phosphorus: A non-metal element that has the atomic symbol P, atomic number 15, and atomic weight 31. It is an essential element that takes part in a broad variety of biochemical reactions.