Gene test can predict when women will deliver prematurely

A blood-based diagnostic test accurately predicted whether 70% of female study participants with threatened preterm labor (TPTL) would or would not give birth prematurely.

“A lot of TPTL women are unnecessarily hospitalized,” says Professor Stephen Lye. “We want to develop a test that can differentiate between true and false labor so that women in true labor can receive the appropriate medical care while women in false labor will receive supportive care and be discharged.” Preterm birth worldwide remains the main cause of childbirth-related mortality in the developed world. Only 5% of the women hospitalized with signs of premature labor (i.e. TPTL) will deliver a premature baby within ten days.

The current preterm labor diagnostic test, fetal fibronectin (fFN) test is easily influenced by factors that can cause false positives. In an effort to develop a method that can be used in all cases, scientists used microarrays to study differential whole blood gene expression associated with spontaneous premature birth within 48 hours in women admitted with TPTL — an important window for the clinical management of TPTL.

Read the full, original story: Novel blood test may help predict impending preterm birth

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