Hexosamines* are important chemical constituents of connective tissue, plasma, and urine. As such, they play an important role in the pathogenesis of rheumatic diseases. It has been observed that the concentration of hexosamines is increased in nodules obtained from patients with rheumatic fever 1 and in the serum of patients with rheumatic fever, rheumatoid arthritis, and disseminated lupus erythematosus.† It has also been observed that the rate of excretion of hexosamines in urine may be increased in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.4
Since it is well known that pregnancy can alleviate the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, it was considered of interest to study the rate of hexosamine excretion in urine during pregnancy.
Materials and Methods
Urine samples were collected from normal women, pregnant women, and a group of postpartum cases. After each person had been given careful instructions on the method of collecting a 24-hour urine specimen, they were given