Maternal serum activin, inhibin, human chorionic gonadotrophin and α-fetoprotein as second trimester predictors of pre-eclampsia

Emma J. Davidson, Simon C. Riley, Stephen A. Roberts, Catherine H. Shearing, Nigel P. Groome, Cameron W. Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: To compare the serum levels of human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG), α-fetoprotein, activin A, inhibin A and inhibin isoforms containing pro and αC in the second trimester serum of women who subsequently developed hypertensive disorders of pregnancy with those who remained normotensive throughout pregnancy. Design: Retrospective case-control study of 15-20 week serum samples matched for duration of storage at -20°C. Setting: Antenatal clinics at a teaching hospital in Scotland. Sample: Second trimester serum samples of 39 women who subsequently developed pre-eclampsia, 31 who subsequently developed pregnancy-induced hypertension and 155 women who remained normotensive throughout pregnancy. Main outcome measures: hCG, α-fetoprotein, activin A, inhibin A and inhibin pro-αC serum levels. Results: Activin A levels in serum were significantly elevated in women who later developed pregnancy-induced hypertension (26% increase compared with controls) and hCG levels were significantly elevated in women who later developed pre-eclampsia (24% increase compared with controls). α-Fetoprotein, inhibin A and inhibin pro-αC levels were not significantly elevated in the patient groups compared with their controls. Conclusions: A combination of analyses including second trimester serum activin A and hCG may yet prove to be helpful predictors of women at risk of hypertensive disorders of pregnancy. While the results proved significant, the effects reported in this study are too modest compared with natural variability to be useful as screening tools on their own.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46-52
Number of pages7
JournalBJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Volume110
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2003

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