Create Account | Sign In: Author or Forum

 
News  |  Journals  |  Conferences  |  Opinion  |  Articles  |  Forums  |  Twitter    
 
Category: Pulmonology | Obstetrics | News

Back to Health News

Test May Predict Moms Who Will Deliver Prematurely

Last Updated: July 21, 2009.

 

Analysis of amniotic and cervical fluids yields clues to early birth

Share |

Comments: (0)

Tell-a-Friend

 

  Related
 
Analysis of amniotic and cervical fluids yields clues to early birth.

By Amanda Gardner
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, July 21 (HealthDay News) -- Testing for a panel of proteins in amniotic and cervical fluids might enable doctors to identify women who are in danger of giving birth prematurely.

No such test exists now. If perfected, such a tool could supplement a test now available that can determine which women face a lower risk of delivering early.

"It is a breakthrough since it will provide a high positive predictive value," said Dr. Bo Jacobsson, who is with the perinatal center at Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gothenburg, Sweden, and senior author of a study on the test. But its effectiveness will need confirming in a prospective study, he added.

The study is reported in the August issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

"It's very exciting. There's no question this could be very helpful, but the problem is these are really preliminary findings," said Dr. Marjorie Greenfield, associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Case School of Medicine and University Hospitals in Cleveland. "The test doesn't exist. It's in a research lab only. It's not clinically available."

Babies born prematurely often suffer significant medical problems, including breathing difficulties as a result of incompletely developed lungs. In the United States and other countries, the incidence of preterm delivery is increasing and now stands at about 12.5 percent, although the upward trend may be skewed by a higher number of multiple births, said Dr. Michael Cabbad, chairman of obstetrics and gynecology and chief of maternal/fetal medicine at the Brooklyn Hospital Center in New York City.

Doctors now use imperfect clinical measures, such as cervix length, to predict when a birth will occur.

For the study, the researchers took samples of amniotic and cervical fluids from 89 women in preterm labor. They then analyzed 37 proteins from the samples and came up with two groups of proteins that predicted delivery within the next seven days better than any single protein.

One of the models, which included proteins found in amniotic and cervical fluids, predicted birthing with 91 percent accuracy. The other test, which included measuring the cervix, was 85 percent accurate.

But even with effective predictive tests, another significant problem remains: what to do with the women at higher risk.

"Even if we can predict who's going to deliver soon, we don't really have any tricks up our sleeve that will prevent that," Greenfield. "There are medications that we use, but none are very effective."

Still, identifying women at higher risk would enable doctors to give babies steroids in the womb to help mature their lungs faster, Greenfield said. These are considered most effective when given two to seven days before delivery.

"We could time our steroids," she said.

Cabbad added that "any work in the area of preterm birth and the ability to help us diagnose those patients who may be at risk for preterm birth is beneficial as we go forward."

"We're still looking for the magic wand that's going to be able to pass over each patient to determine who's at higher risk," he said.

More information

The March of Dimes has more on premature birth.

SOURCES: Bo Jacobsson, M.D., Ph.D., perinatal center, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden; Marjorie Greenfield, M.D., associate professor, obstetrics and gynecology, Case School of Medicine and University Hospitals, Cleveland; Michael Cabbad, M.D., chairman, obstetrics and gynecology, and chief, maternal/fetal medicine, Brooklyn Hospital Center, New York City; August 2009, Obstetrics & Gynecology

Copyright © 2009 ScoutNews, LLC. All rights reserved.


Previous: Immune System Gene Discovery Sheds Light on Staph Infections Next: No Firm Evidence Green Tea Helps Prevent Cancer

Reader comments on this article are listed below. Review our comments policy.


Submit your opinion:

Name:

Email:

Location:

URL:

Remember my personal information

Notify me of follow-up comments?

advertisement.gif (61x7 -- 0 bytes)
 

Are you a Doctor, Pharmacist, PA or a Nurse?

Join the Doctors Lounge online medical community

  • Editorial activities: Publish, peer review, edit online articles.

Doctors Lounge Membership Application

 
     

 advertisement.gif (61x7 -- 0 bytes)

 

 

Useful Sites
MediLexicon
  Tools & Services: Follow DoctorsLounge on Twitter Follow us on Twitter | RSS News | Newsletter | Contact us
Copyright © 2001-2014
Doctors Lounge.
All rights reserved.

Medical Reference:
Diseases | Symptoms
Drugs | Labs | Procedures
Software | Tutorials

Advertising
Links | Humor
Forum Archive
CME | Conferences

Privacy Statement
Terms & Conditions
Editorial Board
About us | Email

This website is certified by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information:
verify here.