The Biomarker Study

2014-08-27 03:12:44 | BioPortfolio


Preterm birth (PTB) is a leading contributor to perinatal morbidity and mortality. While patients with preterm labor (PTL) are at an increased risk for PTB, not all PTL patients will deliver preterm. In patients with PTB, there is a high prevalence of 'intrauterine inflammation' as demonstrated by a large body of evidence. The presence of inflammation is noted by infiltration of inflammatory cells in the placenta and/or maternal fever in labor and/or elevation of cytokines in the amniotic fluid.

Despite this significant association of inflammation with PTB, identification of women destined to deliver preterm by inflammatory markers in maternal blood has not been successful. To date, it has been difficult to determine which patients with PTL will experience PTB. Identification of biomarkers, such as high sensitivity C-Reactive Protein (hsCRP) as well as others such as sICAM, Pentraxin, sE-Selectin, and CxCL-10 in maternal serum and in placental cord blood, may help to serve three very important clinical aims. 1) Identification of novel biomarkers in maternal serum could help to distinguish those women with PTL who are most likely to deliver PTB. 2) These biomarkers may have a high negative predictive value and thus identify those women who are not likely to deliver preterm, avoiding undue hospital admission and medical therapies. 3) Select biomarkers in the mother and/or in cord blood may serve to identify those preterm neonates at greatest risk for adverse outcome. Through improved identification of these infants, studies with targeted therapies to reduce adverse neonatal outcomes in preterm neonates become feasible.

This study involves a cohort assessment of women at risk for Preterm birth secondary to preterm labor, preterm premature rupture of membranes (PPROM), and cervical insufficiency (CI), between 22-0/7 and 33-6/7 weeks gestational age. We will obtain information regarding patients' pertinent past medical and obstetric history as well as small samples of maternal blood at up to four occasions, small samples of placental cord blood, a maternal saliva sample, and an infant buccal swab. We will follow each of these patient's pregnancy outcomes, and determine if there are any correlations between levels of certain biomarkers and latency to delivery as well as composite adverse neonatal outcomes. In women with PTB < 37 weeks, cord blood will be collected (as well as maternal saliva and an infant buccal swab) and biomarkers compared between those infants with and without specific adverse neonatal outcomes. Maternal saliva and buccal will be collected on all women and infants enrolled.

Study Design

Observational Model: Cohort, Time Perspective: Prospective


Preterm Birth


Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
United States




University of Pennsylvania

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-08-27T03:12:44-0400

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Preterm birth (PTB) at

Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

A parameter usually used in PRENATAL ULTRASONOGRAPHY to measure the length of the uterine neck (CERVIX UTERI). Cervical length or its shortening is used to identify and prevent early cervical opening and PRETERM BIRTH.

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Postnatal deaths from BIRTH to 365 days after birth in a given population. Postneonatal mortality represents deaths between 28 days and 365 days after birth (as defined by National Center for Health Statistics). Neonatal mortality represents deaths from birth to 27 days after birth.

Official certifications by a physician recording the individual's birth date, place of birth, parentage and other required identifying data which are filed with the local registrar of vital statistics.

An infant having a birth weight of 2500 gm. (5.5 lb.) or less but INFANT, VERY LOW BIRTH WEIGHT is available for infants having a birth weight of 1500 grams (3.3 lb.) or less.

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