Objective: To study the effects of iron supplementation in pregnancy on the height of zones of epiphyseal
growth plates of off springs.
Study Design: Laboratory based randomized control trial.
Place and Duration of Study: This study was conducted at Department of Anatomy, Army Medical College
Rawalpindi in collaboration with National Institute of Health (NIH) Islamabad from March 2016 to November
Materials and Methods: Five lactating rats with ten pups were selected for control group A1and experimental
groups B1 and B2 each. Experimental groups were given iron supplementation daily throughout the pregnancy.
Mothers of group B2 were given oral iron during pregnancy as well as during lactation. Control group was on
normal diet throughout the pregnancy.
The infant rats were allowed to reach seven weeks of age till dissection. They were weighed before euthanasia.
Right femur of each rat was removed for the epiphyseal growth plate analysis. Femurs were processed,
embedded and stained with Hematoxylin & Eosin, Perl's stain, and toluidine stain for histological study. The
heights of hypertrophy and proliferative zones were analyzed histologically and statistically.
Results: The height of hypertrophy zone and proliferative zone of epiphyseal plates of long bones were
measured. Mean values of the heights of hypertrophy in group A1 276.19 ±43.61, B1 136.73±3.58and B2
205.00±12.76. Mean values of the heights of proliferative zones in group A1 377.29±50.73, B1 202.89±11.56
and B2 281.07±11.96 were taken. The heights in hypertrophy and proliferative zones were statistically
decreased in group B1 and B2 as compared to group A1.
Conclusion: Indiscriminate iron supplementation during pregnancy and lactation can decrease the height of
hypertrophy zone and proliferative zone of epiphyseal growth plates of long bones of the off spring.
Key words: Growth Plate, Hypertrophy Zone, Iron Supplementation, Proliferative Zone.