Blood Test May Help Rule Out Preeclampsia in Short Term

Could help predict whether preeclampsia would be diagnosed in the next week

doctor and patient

THURSDAY, Jan. 7, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- A sFlt-1:PlGF ratio of 38 or lower appears to help rule out preeclampsia in women in whom the syndrome is suspected clinically, according to a study published in the Jan. 7 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Stefan Verlohren, M.D., Ph.D., senior researcher on the new study and a consultant in maternal/fetal medicine at Charite University Medicine in Berlin, and colleagues looked at whether the sFlt-1:PlGF ratio could help predict whether women with suspected preeclampsia would be diagnosed with the disorder in the next week. Verlohren's team used blood samples from 1,050 women who were between the 24th and 37th week of pregnancy, all of whom had suspected preeclampsia.

In a developmental group of 500 women, the researchers found that a test result of 38 appeared to be the key cut-off number. The results were validated in a second group of 550 patients. The test showed a negative predictive value (no preeclampsia in the subsequent week) of 99.3 percent, with 80.0 percent sensitivity and 78.3 percent specificity.

"An sFlt-1:PlGF ratio of 38 or lower can be used to predict the short-term absence of preeclampsia in women in whom the syndrome is suspected clinically," the authors conclude.

The test's manufacturer, Roche Diagnostics, funded the new study, and Verlohren and several coauthors disclosed financial ties to the company.

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