Published By : 08 Jun 2018 | Published By : QYRESEARCH
Researchers have devised a way of detecting, up to an accuracy level of 70-80% if a pregnancy will result in premature birth – with the use of a new blood tests. The technique is also capable of estimating the gestational age of the fetus, with reliability of an ultrasound at a much lesser cost. The blood test, developed by a team of researchers from the Stanford University, can help in reducing issues concerning premature or preterm birth, which is seen in nearly 15 mn infants across the globe every year.
Till now, the healthcare industry has lacked a reliable method of predicting if there is a chance a pregnancy will lead to premature birth and doctors have struggles to predict the delivery date accurately for pregnancies, especially in settings that suffer from low resources. This test, however, provides a high resolution perspective regarding pregnancy and human development like never before.
This new blood tests measures the activity of fetal, placental, and maternal genes by analyzing the levels of cell-free RNA in the maternal blood. Cell-free RNAs are tiny molecules that act as messengers and carry the genetic instructions of the body to ribosomes – the cellular protein factories. For the study, the team made use of blood samples gathered during pregnancy from 38 American women who carried a risk of premature delivery owing to the fact that they has previously given birth to premature babies or had early contractions previously also.
It was found in the study that several genes are significantly predictive of the women that carry the risk of premature delivery. Before the tests can be made available for use on a wider scale, the scientists will be required to validate the new tests in a much larger group of pregnant women.