December 1976

Oxytocin Administration

Author Affiliations

Division of Adolescent Medicine Department of Pediatrics Montefiore Hospital and Medical Center Albert Einstein College of Medicine 1825 Eastchester Rd New York, NY 10461

Am J Dis Child. 1976;130(12):1377. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1976.02120130083025

Sir.—In Dr Osaki's recent article regarding the association of maternal oxytocin administration and neonatal unconjugated hyperbilirubinemia (Am J Dis Child 129:1139, 1975), he offered several suggestions to explain this observed relationship. One hypothesis was that oxytocin administration might inhibit hepatic bilirubin glucuronyl transferase activity. We investigated this proposed mechanism using a previously reported1.2 in vitro study in which inhibitory activity of human breast milk was demonstrated.

Serial dilutions of 0.2 ml of a 10 units/ml solution of oxytocin was added to the in vitro assay, and equal volumes of physiologic saline were used for control purposes. The results showed no significant inhibition of bilirubin glucuronyl transferase activity (Table) at all concentrations tested. This included supraphysiologic and physiologic levels for the rat.3.4

Although the results of this in vitro study would suggest that maternal oxytocin administration does not in

terfere with bilirubin conjugation in the newborn, the possibility

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