Early Urine Test Predicts Pregnancy Complication
Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 23 November 2010
Research led by the University of Leicester and University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust has provided a new advance in predicting a potentially serious pregnancy complication.
The team led by Dr Matt Hall, of the Department of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation at the University of Leicester, conducted a study to see if analyzing the protein content of pregnant women's urine before the 20th week of pregnancy might predict a condition known as pre-eclampsia.
Pre-eclampsia affects approximately 5% of pregnancies and can pose serious health concerns for mother and child. Some patients develop severe disease associated with kidney, liver, and neurological problems. The condition is characterized by high blood pressure and the loss of protein in the urine during the second half of pregnancy.
The researchers recruited 145 patients at risk of pre-eclampsia from Leicester Royal Infirmary early in pregnancy. Eleven subsequently developed pre-eclampsia. An analysis of urine samples obtained prior to week 20 revealed a panel of 5 proteins that correctly predicted pre-eclampsia with 92% accuracy.
Dr Hall said: "Our study suggests that changes in levels of certain proteins in the urine early in pregnancy can predict who will develop pre-eclampsia about 5 months before symptoms develop.
“Although these results do not give us a cure for pre-eclampsia, early identification of women at highest risk will allow focused monitoring and timely delivery of their babies, as well as reassurance for women found to be low risk."
Study co-authors include Paul Bosio, MD (Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust, in Birmingham, the United Kingdom), Jonathan Barratt, MD, PhD; Nigel Brunskill, MD, PhD; Susan Carr MD (Leicester General Hospital and the University of Leicester); and Karen Molyneux, PhD (University of Leicester).
The research was funded with pharmaceutical company support as well as clinical revenue support. The study abstract, "An Early Pregnancy Urinary Proteomic Fingerprint Accurately Predicts Later Pre-Eclampsia," [F-FC223] was presented as an oral presentation at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, CO. as part of the American Society of Nephrology Renal Week.
Note to newsdesk: For more information, please email Dr Matt Hall via firstname.lastname@example.org or contact University of Leicester press office on 0116 252 2415.