BEAUTY&STYLE Published May19, 2014 By Staff Writer

Blood Tests Help Predict the Risk of Preterm Birth: Study

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Blood test is a new method to predict the risk of early labor and premature deliveries, according to a study.

  •  women in their third trimester experience irregular and unpredictable contractions making it difficult to identify whether it is a false alarm or false labor. In a new research blood-based diagnostic test known as fetal fibronectin test (fFN) helped accurately screen the chances of going in to early labor or preterm delivery in 70 percent of the participants.

Experts used microarrays to determine whole blood genetic expression that leads to spontaneous premature delivery within 48 hours in pregnant women who are hospitalized for threatened preterm labor (TPTL). They tested the blood samples of 150 TPTL women and identified 60 suitable subjects who underwent fFN tests.         

The researchers found nine sets of genes and clinical blood data that pointed at the likelihood of having spontaneous preterm births in 70 percent of mothers involved in the trial. In addition it was observed that data of nine genes and blood data is more reliable than fFN test.

A lot of TPTL women are unnecessarily hospitalized," said Stephen Lye, study author and professor at Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute, Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, Canada in a news release.

"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."

Premature birth is one of the main reasons for infant mortality and childbirth-realted deaths around the world. The study reports about 5 percent of mothers who are admitted for early signs of labor give birth to a premature baby with ten days. The authors believe including these blood tests as part of routine check-up in expectant mothers can prevent unexpected and early labor that may sometimes even result in still births.

More information is available online in the journal PLoS ONE.

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