ACOG: Maternal Blood Test May Predict Meconium Risk

May 7, 2008

Maternal serum inhibin-A levels during the second trimester of pregnancy may help predict which deliveries will be complicated by meconium passage, according to research presented this week at the 56th Annual Clinical Meeting of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in New Orleans.

WEDNESDAY, May 7 (HealthDay News) -- Maternal serum inhibin-A levels during the second trimester of pregnancy may help predict which deliveries will be complicated by meconium passage, according to research presented this week at the 56th Annual Clinical Meeting of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in New Orleans.

Shimon Sega, M.D., of Lincoln Medical Center, Bronx, N.Y., and colleagues investigated the prognostic value of serum inhibin-A levels in women with normal pregnancies. A highly sensitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) from Oxford Bioinnovation (Oxfordshire, U.K.) was used to measure serum inhibin-A levels of maternal blood drawn at the time of second-trimester alpha fetoprotein screening. The researchers followed the women throughout their pregnancies and correlated inhibin-A levels to outcomes in 119 women with normal pregnancy and delivery.

Second trimester serum inhibin-A levels were significantly higher in the four women whose deliveries were complicated by meconium passage, compared to the 115 with uncomplicated deliveries, the investigators report.

"Maternal serum inhibin-A level during second trimester of pregnancy may have a predictive value of subsequent meconium passage during labor," the authors write. "Additional studies will be required in larger groups of patients to determine its clinical diagnostic usefulness in practice."

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