New Testing Being Developed to Predict Possible Risk of Pre-eclampsia

November 19, 2013

November 19, 2013

Researchers from The University of Manchester and Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Trust are developing the test by identifying proteins in the blood that could identify the condition in first time pregnancies. The test is highly significant as pre-eclampsia can develop into a serious condition for both mother and baby and the only cure is delivery of the baby, often prematurely.

Pre-eclampsia is a complication of pregnancy where the mother develops high blood pressure and protein is present in the urine. After the first pregnancy, women who have had pre-eclampsia previously are at higher risk of recurrence and are closely monitored during pregnancy, but there is no way of accurately determining high risk patients in first-time mothers.

 The research, led by Dr Richard Unwin and Dr Jenny Myers from the Manchester Biomedical Research Centre, analyzed samples collected before any clinical signs of disease are present at 15 weeks of pregnancy.. Proteins were identified which differed between those women who developed pre-eclampsia and those who did not.

 Three of these proteins were studied further and two of the proteins, which have not previously been linked to pre-eclampsia risk, were shown to be at least as good a predictor of disease risk as the current best marker, placental growth factor. These two new potential markers are called pregnancy specific glycoprotein 5 and 9 (PSG5 and PSG9).

“We hope that these two new markers will be of benefit in the future for women at risk from pre-eclampsia to allow early intervention and/or closer monitoring,” said Dr Jenny Myers, from the Institute of Human Development at The University of Manchester and the Maternal and Fetal Heath Research Centre at Saint Mary’s Hospital

“We also hope to understand the biology of the disease better by determining why these proteins are higher in women with pre-eclampsia and whether they have a role in the development of the placenta,” she said.

DrUnwin, from the Centre for Advanced Discovery and Experimental Therapeutics (CADET) at the Manchester Biomedical Research Centre, added, “What we have also done here is to develop a suite of laboratory methods which can identify and begin to validate real disease markers from patient blood samples, even before symptoms have developed, and we are hoping to continue applying these methods to other major diseases, such as diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease or stroke.”

Proper fetal monitoring is essential to the success of this research. To ensure reliable results, the researchers use only the best tools and instruments.

AIV offers accessories and repair services for fetal monitoring equipment. See AIV’s full line of accessories and services at

About the Author

Laura Collier

Laura Collier

Laura Collier has a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of North Florida. She is the Marketing Manager at AIV, Inc.

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