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Proteomic Profile may Help Determine Premature Births - Amniotic Fluid used to Detect Infections

February 2nd 2006

Proteomic Profile may Help Determine Premature Births - Amniotic Fluid used to Detect Infections

New Tests

It may be possible to accurately predict if a birth will be preterm and also detect the presence of an infection in the womb.  The diagnosis could save the life of the baby because these conditions can lead to death, brain damage, lung or bowel injury. 

Researchers announced this cutting edge research at the 26th Annual Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM) meeting.  The studies authors were also recognized by an award from the March of Dimes. 

The test involves profiling proteins in amniotic fluid for markers of inflammation.  This is called a “proteomic profile”.  The goal was to not only yield results twice as fast as other tests, but to make the results much more accurate. 

According to Catalin S. Buhimschi, M.D., of Yale University, the lead study author and SMFM member, “We discovered that the presence of fewer than two biomarkers for inflammation meant the median time for delivery was five to six days. If all the biomarkers for inflammation were present, delivery time was within hours."

The researchers hope that this discovery will lead to methods of preventing pre-term births.  Nancy S. Green, M.D., medical director of the March of Dimes said “Research such as this is vital if we are to understand the basic mechanisms underlying preterm birth and find ways to prevent or treat it.  Dr. Buhimschi's work is exciting because it offers a potential new tool to identify women who are at highest risk for a preterm delivery. For these women, knowing their risk and managing it may lead to dramatic improvements in the health of their babies."

The study consisted of 135 participants.  Each underwent a routine of amniocentesis to determine the maturity of the fetus’s lungs.  They also analyzed the fluid for glucose, neutrophil (white blood cell) count , lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), Gram stain, culture, IL-6 and MMP-8--and a "fingerprint" of the proteins was generated using SELDI-TOF (surface-enhanced laser desorption ionization time-of flight). 


They looked for peaks in four proteins that served as evidence of inflammation.  These results were accurate and quick than a standard test, such as the neutrophil count, Gram stain or culture.  The doctors had the results in a half an hour, and the test caught minor inflammation missed by other tests.

This was the first test to compare results of Proteomic testing with other traditional tests.   Proteomics is a novel technology that has found applications in various fields including cancer screening

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By Dan Wilson
Best Syndication Staff Writer

Books on Pregnancy

Keywords and misspellings: priatal prenatal pre-natal


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Copyright 2005 Best Syndication                                            Last Updated Saturday, July 10, 2010 09:50 PM