In a study of pregnant women in the United States, Cedars-Sinai investigators found that a specific imbalance of two placental proteins could predict which women were at risk of developing a severe form of preeclampsia, a life-threatening blood pressure disorder.
The study is published in the journal NEJM Evidence.
The blinded, prospective study of women initially hospitalized for preterm hypertension involved 1,014 patients from 18 hospitals across the nation.
Investigators found that a specific protein imbalance revealed in blood tests of the hospitalized pregnant women provided a way to quantify their risk of developing severe preeclampsia. It involves levels of soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase 1 (sFlt-1) and placental growth factor (PIGF) in the bloodstream.