may Help Determine Premature Births - Amniotic Fluid used to Detect
February 2nd 2006
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
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
Best Syndication Staff Writer
Books on Pregnancy
Keywords and misspellings: priatal prenatal pre-natal