Raises potential for new prenatal test
For the first time, researchers have successfully profiled the amniotic fluid metabolome (the sum of all metabolic processes occurring in the amniotic fluid), in order to identify which women who have experienced preterm labor are also at risk for delivering a premature baby. With nearly one in eight babies in the U.S. born prematurely every year, and the problem of premature birth increasing, the need for tools that can identify preterm delivery risk has never been greater, experts say.
The news was announced today at the 25th annual Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM) meeting here. "We studied the amniotic fluid of three groups of patients – those with preterm labor who delivered at term, those with intra-amniotic inflammation who had both preterm labor and delivery, and those with no sign of inflammation who still had preterm labor and delivery," said Roberto Romero, M.D., lead study author and SMFM member. "We discovered that by using metabolic profiling, 96 percent of the time we could correctly identify the patients as belonging to the appropriate clinical group.
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