Mid-gestational changes in cervicovaginal fluid cytokine levels in asymptomatic pregnant women are predictive markers of inflammation-associated spontaneous preterm birth.
ABSTRACT: Perturbation of the choriodecidual space before the onset of spontaneous preterm birth (sPTB) could lead to a concomitant rise in both cervicovaginal fluid (CVF) cytokine and fetal fibronectin (FFN), and assessing the concentrations of both markers could improve the prediction of sPTB (delivery before 37 completed weeks of gestation). Therefore, we prospectively determined mid-trimester changes in CVF cytokine and FFN concentrations, and their predictive capacity for sPTB in asymptomatic pregnant women.CVF collected at 20+0-22+6 weeks (n?=?47: Preterm-delivered?=?22, Term-delivered?=?25) and 26+0-28+6 weeks (n?=?50: Preterm-delivered?=?17, Term-delivered?=?33) from 63 asymptomatic pregnant women at risk of sPTB were examined. Cytokine and FFN concentrations were determined by multiplexed bead-based immunoassay and 10Q Rapid analysis (Hologic, MA, USA) respectively. The 20+0-22+6/26+0-28+6 weeks ratios of cytokines and FFN concentrations were compared between preterm- and term-delivered women using Receiver Operating Characteristics curves to predict sPTB. Also, bacterial 16S rDNA from 64 samples (20+0-22+6 weeks n?=?36, 26+0-28+6 weeks n?=?28) was amplified by polymerase chain reaction to determine associations between vaginal microflora, cytokine and FFN concentrations.Changes in RANTES and IL-1? concentrations between 20+0-22+6 and 26+0-28+6 weeks, expressed as a ratios, were predictive of sPTB, RANTES (AUC?=?0.82, CI?=?0.62-0.94) more so than IL-1? (AUC?=?0.71, CI?=?0.53-0.85) and FFN (not predictive). Combining these markers (AUC?=?0.83, CI?=?0.63-0.95) showed similar predictive capacity as RANTES alone. FFN concentrations at 26+0-28+6 weeks correlated with IL-1? (r?=?0.4, P?=?0.002) and RANTES (r?=?0.3, P?=?0.03). In addition, there was increased prevalence of vaginal anaerobes including Bacteroides, Fusobacterium and Mobiluncus between gestational time points in women who experienced sPTB compared to the term women (P?=?0.0006).CVF RANTES and IL-1? in mid-trimester of pregnancy correlate with quantitative FFN. The levels of CVF RANTES and IL-1? decline significantly in women who deliver at term unlike women who deliver preterm. This observation suggests that sPTB may be characterised by sustained choriodecidual inflammation and may have clinical value in serial screening for sPTB if confirmed by larger studies.
Project description:Changes in vaginal microbiota that is associated with preterm birth (PTB) leave specific metabolite fingerprints that can be detected in the cervicovaginal fluid (CVF) using metabolomics techniques. In this study, we characterize and validate the CVF metabolite profile of pregnant women presenting with symptoms of threatened preterm labor (PTL) by both 1H-nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR) and enzyme-based spectrophotometry. We also determine their predictive capacity for PTB, singly, and in combination, with current clinical screening tools - cervicovaginal fetal fibronectin (FFN) and ultrasound cervical length (CL). CVF was obtained by high-vaginal swabs from 82 pregnant women with intact fetal membranes presenting between 24 and 36?weeks gestation with symptoms of threatened, but not established, PTL. Dissolved CVF samples were scanned with a 400?MHz NMR spectrometer. Acetate and other metabolites were identified in the NMR spectrum, integrated for peak area, and normalized to the total spectrum integral. To confirm and validate our observations, acetate concentrations (AceConc) were also determined from a randomly-selected subset of the same samples (n?=?57), by spectrophotometric absorption of NADH using an acetic acid assay kit. CVF FFN level, transvaginal ultrasound CL, and vaginal pH were also ascertained. Acetate normalized integral and AceConc were significantly higher in the women who delivered preterm compared to their term counterparts (P?=?0.002 and P?=?0.006, respectively). The 1H-NMR-derived acetate integrals were strongly correlated with the AceConc estimated by spectrophotometry (r?=?0.69; P?<?0.0001). Both methods were equally predictive of PTB <37?weeks (acetate integral: AUC?=?0.75, 95% CI?=?0.60-0.91; AceConc: AUC?=?0.74, 95% CI?=?0.57-0.90, optimal predictive cutoff of >0.53?g/l), and of delivery within 2?weeks of the index assessment (acetate integral: AUC?=?0.77, 95% CI?=?0.58-0.96; AceConc: AUC?=?0.68, 95% CI?=?0.5-0.9). The predictive accuracy of CVF acetate was similar to CL and FFN. The combination of CVF acetate, FFN, and ultrasound CL in a binary logistic regression model improved the prediction of PTB compared to the three markers individually, but CVF acetate offered no predictive improvement over ultrasound CL combined with CVF FFN. Elevated CVF acetate in women with symptoms of PTL appears predictive of preterm delivery, as well as delivery within 2?weeks of presentation. An assay of acetate in CVF may prove of clinical utility for predicting PTB.
Project description:Multi-marker tests hold promise for identifying symptomatic women at risk of imminent preterm delivery (PTD, <37 week's gestation). This study sought to determine the relationship of inflammatory mediators and metabolites in cervicovaginal fluid (CVF) with spontaneous PTD (sPTD) and delivery within 14 days of presentation with symptoms of preterm labour (PTL). CVF samples from 94 (preterm = 19, term = 75) singleton women with symptoms of PTL studied between 19+0-36+6 weeks' gestation were analysed for cytokines/chemokines by multiplexed bead-based immunoassay, while metabolites were quantified by enzyme-based spectrophotometry in a subset of 61 women (preterm = 16, term = 45). Prevalence of targeted vaginal bacterial species was determined for 70 women (preterm = 14, term = 66) by PCR. Overall, 10 women delivered within 14 days of sampling. Predictive capacities of individual biomarkers and cytokine-metabolite combinations for sPTD and delivery within 14 days of sampling were analysed by logistic regression models and area under the receiver operating characteristic curve. Fusobacterium sp., Mubiluncus mulieris and Mycoplasma hominis were detected in more preterm-delivered than term women (P<0.0001), while, M. curtisii was found in more term-delivered than preterm women (P<0.0001). RANTES (0.91, 0.65-1.0), IL-6 (0.79, 0.67-0.88), and Acetate/Glutamate ratio (0.74, 0.61-0.85) were associated with delivery within 14 days of sampling (AUC, 95% CI). There were significant correlations between cytokines and metabolites, and several cytokine-metabolite combinations were associated with sPTD or delivery within 14 days of sampling (e.g. L/D-lactate ratio+Acetate/Glutamate ratio+IL-6: 0.84, 0.67-0.94). Symptomatic women destined to deliver preterm and within 14 days of sampling express significantly higher pro-inflammatory mediators at mid to late gestation. In this cohort, IL-6, Acetate/Glutamate ratio and RANTES were associated with delivery within 14 days of sampling, consistent with their roles in modulating infection-inflammation-associated preterm labour in women presenting with symptoms of preterm birth. Replication of these observations in larger cohorts of women could show potential clinical utility.
Project description:Threatened preterm labor (TPTL) is defined as persistent premature uterine contractions between 20 and 37 weeks of gestation and is the most common condition that requires hospitalization during pregnancy. Most of these TPTL women continue their pregnancies to term while only an estimated 5% will deliver a premature baby within ten days. The aim of this work was to study differential whole blood gene expression associated with spontaneous preterm birth (sPTB) within 48 hours of hospital admission. Peripheral blood was collected at point of hospital admission from 154 women with TPTL before any medical treatment. Microarrays were utilized to investigate differential whole blood gene expression between TPTL women who did (n = 48) or did not have a sPTB (n = 106) within 48 hours of admission. Total leukocyte and neutrophil counts were significantly higher (35% and 41% respectively) in women who had sPTB than women who did not deliver within 48 hours (p<0.001). Fetal fibronectin (fFN) test was performed on 62 women. There was no difference in the urine, vaginal and placental microbiology and histopathology reports between the two groups of women. There were 469 significant differentially expressed genes (FDR<0.05); 28 differentially expressed genes were chosen for microarray validation using qRT-PCR and 20 out of 28 genes were successfully validated (p<0.05). An optimal random forest classifier model to predict sPTB was achieved using the top nine differentially expressed genes coupled with peripheral clinical blood data (sensitivity 70.8%, specificity 75.5%). These differentially expressed genes may further elucidate the underlying mechanisms of sPTB and pave the way for future systems biology studies to predict sPTB.
Project description:More than 10% of babies are born too early resulting in over 15 million preterm births and more than one million new-born deaths globally. Although women with a previous spontaneous preterm birth (SPTB) are considered at high risk for recurrence, the majority occur in women without prior history. Prediction of SPTB risk allows for improved care and potential for targeting novel and existing therapeutics to prevent SPTB, which may result in improved outcomes for infant and mother. In this pilot study, a miRNA array was used to analyse plasma from healthy women in their first pregnancy at 20 weeks of gestation who then went on to deliver either at term or experience SPTB at 28-32 weeks. We identified specific miRNA expression profiles that differentiated between those mothers who delivered at term or delivered following SPTB. miR302b, miR1253 and a clustering of miR548 miRNAs were underexpressed in SPTB cases compared to term controls. Conversely, miR223 was elevated in mothers that later experienced a SPTB. The circulating miRNAs identified in the present study may therefore be attractive candidates as non-invasive biomarkers for the early prediction of SPTB. Further larger studies are now warranted to investigate the potential clinical utility of these markers.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:To evaluate not only the risk of total preterm birth (PTB) but also spontaneous preterm birth (sPTB) and indicated preterm birth (iPTB) in vanishing twin (VT). STUDY DESIGN:This is a secondary analysis of a multicenter prospective cohort study. In 12 different healthcare institutions, women with singleton pregnancies were enrolled in early pregnancy and followed up till delivery. RESULTS:A total of 4,746 women were included in the final analysis, and. the frequency of VT was 1.1% (54/4746). VT group had a higher risk for total PTB (PTB<34 weeks, 2.1% vs. 14.8%, p<0.001; PTB<32 weeks, 1.6% vs. 13.0%, p<0.001; PTB<28 weeks, 0.9% vs. 13.0%, p<0.001) than singleton group. The VT group had increased risk for both sPTB and iPTB (<34 weeks, <32 weeks, and <28 weeks), and this increased risk for sPTB and iPTB in VT group remained significant even after controlling for confounders such as maternal age, parity, pre-pregnancy BMI, and mode of conception. CONCLUSION:Vanishing twin can be an independent risk factor for both sPTB and iPTB when compared with singleton pregnancy.
Project description:A hypothesis of preterm parturition is that the pathogenesis of spontaneous preterm birth (sPTB) may be associated with an inflammatory process. Based on this theory, we have hypothesized that an inflammatory biomarker, procalcitonin (PCT), may be a good predictive marker of sPTB at the admission for threatened preterm labour (TPL). The present study was aimed to investigate the association between serum PCT and sPTB in women with TPL and to evaluate whether PCT levels may predict sPTB in women with TPL within 7 or 14 days.In a prospective observational laboratory-based study, women with singleton pregnancies, TPL between 24 and 36 weeks and intact membranes, were enrolled between January 2014 and June 2016. Participants received routine medical management of TPL (tocolysis with atosiban, antenatal corticosteroids, and biological tests at admission (C-reactive protein, white blood cell count, and PCT measured on electrochemiluminescence immunoassay)). The primary endpoint was sPTB before 37 weeks of gestation. The value of serum PCT levels to predict sPTB within 7 or 14 days were evaluated using receiver-operating curves (ROC) analysis.A total of 124 women were included in our study. PCT levels did not statistically differ between women with sPTB (n?=?30, 24.2%) and controls (n?=?94) (median in ng/mL [interquartile range]: 0.043 [0.02-0.07] compared to 0.042 [0.02-0.13], respectively; P?=?0.56). PCT levels did not also statistically differ between women with sPTB within 7 days (n?=?7, 5.6%) or 14 days (n?=?12, 9.7%) after testing and controls. Moreover, subgroup analysis revealed no difference among PCT levels at admission between 24 and 28 weeks, between 28 and 32 weeks and over 32 weeks, and controls. On the basis of the receiver-operating characteristic curve, the highest sensitivity and specificity corresponded to a PCT concentration of 0.038 ng/mL, with poor predictive values for sPTB within 7 or 14 days.Serum PCT was not relevant to predict sPTB within 7 or 14 days in women admitted with TPL between 24 and 36 weeks, and thus it is not a suitable biological marker to confirm the hypothesis of an inflammatory process associated with preterm parturition.Clinicaltrials.gov ( NCT01977079 ), Registered 24 October 2013.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The bacterial community present in the female lower genital tract plays an important role in maternal and neonatal health. Imbalances in this microbiota have been associated with negative reproductive outcomes, such as spontaneous preterm birth (sPTB), but the mechanisms underlying the association between a disturbed microbiota and sPTB remain poorly understood. An intrauterine infection ascending from the vagina is thought to be an important contributor to the onset of preterm labour. Our objective was to characterize the vaginal microbiota of pregnant women who had sPTB (n?=?46) and compare to those of pregnant women who delivered at term (n?=?170). Vaginal swabs were collected from women at 11-16 weeks of gestational age. Microbiota profiles were created by PCR amplification and pyrosequencing of the cpn60 universal target region. RESULTS:Profiles clustered into seven community state types: I (Lactobacillus crispatus dominated), II (Lactobacillus gasseri dominated), III (Lactobacillus iners dominated), IVA (Gardnerella vaginalis subgroup B or mix of species), IVC (G. vaginalis subgroup A dominated), IVD (G. vaginalis subgroup C dominated) and V (Lactobacillus jensenii dominated). The microbiota of women who experienced preterm birth (<?37 weeks gestation) had higher richness and diversity and higher Mollicutes prevalence when compared to those of women who delivered at term. The two groups did not cluster according to CST, likely because CST assignment is driven in most cases by the dominance of one particular species, overwhelming the contributions of more rare taxa. In conclusion, we did not identify a specific microbial community structure that predicts sPTB, but differences in microbiota richness, diversity and Mollicutes prevalence were observed between groups. CONCLUSIONS:Although a causal relationship remains to be determined, our results confirm previous reports of an association between Mollicutes and sPTB and further suggest that a more diverse microbiome may be important in the pathogenesis of some cases.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:The aim of the QUIDS study is to develop a decision support tool for the management of women with symptoms and signs of preterm labour, based on a validated prognostic model using quantitative fetal fibronectin (fFN) concentration, in combination with clinical risk factors. METHODS AND ANALYSIS:The study will evaluate the Rapid fFN 10Q System (Hologic, Marlborough, Massachusetts, USA) which quantifies fFN in a vaginal swab. In QUIDS part 2, we will perform a prospective cohort study in at least eight UK consultant-led maternity units, in women with symptoms of preterm labour at 22+0?to 34+6 weeks gestation to externally validate a prognostic model developed in QUIDS part 1. The effects of quantitative fFN on anxiety will be assessed, and acceptability of the test and prognostic model will be evaluated in a subgroup of women and clinicians (n=30). The sample size is 1600 women (with estimated 96-192 events of preterm delivery within 7 days of testing). Clinicians will be informed of the qualitative fFN result (positive/negative) but be blinded to quantitative fFN result. Research midwives will collect outcome data from the maternal and neonatal clinical records. The final validated prognostic model will be presented as a mobile or web-based application. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION:The study is funded by the National Institute of Healthcare Research Health Technology Assessment (HTA 14/32/01). It has been approved by the West of Scotland Research Ethics Committee (16/WS/0068). VERSION:Protocol V.2, Date 1 November 2016. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER:ISRCTN 41598423andCPMS: 31277.
Project description:Objective:To evaluate a new a cut off level of fetal fibronectin as a predictor of birth in women with threatened preterm labour. Design:A retrospective cohort study performed at Ipswich hospital, Ipswich, Queensland, Australia, in women with threatened preterm labour with intact membranes between 23 weeks to 34 + 6 week gestation. Study design:A quantitative fetal fibronectin (fFN) was performed. Maternal demographics and birth outcome data were extracted from the routinely collected perinatal data held by the hospital. The odds of preterm birth were estimated for each cut off value of fFN (10, 50 and 200 ng ml-1) using logistic regression and accounting for multiple presentations by the same woman. Results:Among the 447 presentations and 376 pregnancies, rates of preterm birth <34 weeks were 2.9%, 9.2%, 3.3%, 19.6%, 4.2% and 35.3% for each category of values respectively (fFN <10, ≥10, <50, ≥50, <200 and ≥200 ng ml-1). Birth rates within 7 d of testing were 1.1%, 7.5%, 1.8%, 16.1%, 2.1% and 41.2% respectively. Comparing fFN level of <10 to a level of 10-199 ng ml-1 there was no significant increase in odds of preterm birth < 34 weeks or birth within the next 7 d (OR 2.28, 95% CI 0.84-6.17 and OR 3.61, 95% CI 0.89-14.7 respectively. Conclusion:In women presenting with TPL, those with levels of <200 ng ml-1 have a low risk of birthing within 7 d or before 34 weeks gestation. This allows a personalised decision making and probable discharge home without need for steroid loading.
Project description:To determine whether short cervical lengths (?20 mm) that were initially detected in mid-trimester and early in the third trimester are independently associated with increased risks of subsequent histologic chorioamnionitis and spontaneous preterm birth (SPTB, defined as a delivery before 34 weeks) in asymptomatic women with twin pregnancies.This is a prospective study including 292 consecutive asymptomatic women with twin gestations. Cervical length measurements were carried out at 20 to 24 weeks' gestation and at 28 to 32 weeks' gestation. Both placentas of each twin pair were examined histologically after delivery. The generalized estimation equations models and logistic regression analysis were used for statistical analyses.Multivariable generalized estimation equations analysis revealed that short cervical length at mid-trimester was independently associated with an increased risk for subsequent histologic chorioamnionitis, whereas short cervical length initially detected early in the third trimester was not. By using the likelihood of SPTB as an outcome variable, multivariable logistic regression analysis indicated that short mid-trimester cervical length and histologic chorioamnionitis were independently associated with a greater risk for SPTB. Similarly, based on the multivariable analysis, a short third trimester cervical length was independently and significantly associated with a greater risk for SPTB.In asymptomatic women with twin pregnancies, a short mid-trimester cervical length is independently associated with an increased risk of both subsequent histologic chorioamnionitis and SPTB, whereas a short cervical length initially detected early in the third trimester is independently associated with preterm delivery, but not subsequent histologic chorioamnionitis.