Objective The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between second-trimester maternal serum biomarkers and the development of early- and late-onset severe preeclampsia in euploid pregnancies. Study Design Included were 136,139 pregnancies that obtained second-trimester prenatal screening through the California Prenatal Screening Program with live births in 2006-2008. We identified severe preeclampsia diagnoses from hospital discharge records. We used log binomial regression to examine the association between abnormal second-trimester maternal serum biomarkers and the development of severe preeclampsia.
Results Approximately 0.9% of all women (n = 1208) in our sample experienced severe preeclampsia; 329 women at <34 weeks' gestation and 879 women ≥34 weeks' gestation. High levels of alpha fetoprotein (AFP), human chorionic gonadotropin, inhibin (multiple of the median, ≥95th percentile), and low unconjugated estriol (multiple of the median, ≤5th percentile), were associated with severe preeclampsia (relative risk, 2.5-11.7). Biomarkers were more predictive of early-onset severe preeclampsia (relative risk, 3.8-11.7). One in 9.5 pregnancies with combined high AFP, inhibin, and low unconjugated estriol levels experienced severe early-onset preeclampsia compared with 1 in 680.5 pregnancies without any abnormal biomarkers.
Conclusion The risk of the development of severe preeclampsia increases for women with high second-trimester AFP, human chorionic gonadotropin, inhibin, and/or low unconjugated estriol; this is especially true for early-onset severe preeclampsia. When abnormal biomarkers co-occur, risk dramatically increases. Although the screening value of second-trimester biomarkers is low, abnormal biomarkers, especially when occurring in combination, appear to indicate placental dysfunction that is associated with the development of severe preeclampsia.
- early-onset severe preeclampsia
- serum analyte
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Obstetrics and Gynecology