2016 Volume 58 Issue 2 Pages 156-160
Anesthesia is sometimes used for the reduction of maternal pain in normal human term labor, but whether the drugs affect oxidative stress remains unclear. The placenta serves as an interface between the maternal and fetal vasculature. In this study, we immunohistochemically analyzed two markers for oxidative stress, namely 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) and 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal–modified proteins (HNE), using placentas from 21 cases of normal tansvaginal delivery (V group), 20 Caesarean sections (C group), and 17 normal transvaginal deliveries with epidural anesthesia (E group). 8-OHdG staining in the nuclei of trophoblasts lining the chorionic villi was significantly stronger in the V group either compared with the C or E group (p<0.001), without significant differences in the C and E groups (p = 0.792). Moderate to intense staining by HNE of the intravascular serum of chorionic villi vasculature was frequently observed in the placentas from the V group, but less frequently of those in either C or E groups (p<0.001), nor the p value comparing the C and E groups was significant (p = 0.128) for HNE staining. Our results suggest that although the role of oxidative stress and its influences on fetal state in the placenta in labor remains unclear, it seems to be lessened by epidural anesthesia.