Scientists are trialling a blood test that may predict whether a pregnant woman will give birth prematurely. Primary outcomes of the test which was published in the Science journal, 80% of women having higher risk factor.
Backing this, the team from Stanford University, in the United States stated that it is also correct since the ultrasound scans estimates the due date.
Nevertheless, there is yet a lot of digging work to do prior to it being used clinically. Statistics say that each year 15 million babies are born way too early, i.e., before the normal 37 weeks of gestation period; also preterm birth is related to at least a million deaths every year. In fact, it one of the primary cause of deaths amongst the children who are under five years of age.
The bloods test calculates the genetic material’s activity, termed as RNA which comes from the fetus, placenta and mother which ends up in the blood stream.
The scientists began by collecting samples of blood from pregnant women each week to view whether how levels of varied RNAs altered at the time of pregnancy and which could be utilized to state gestational age or a premature birth.
The researchers’ say, the blood test was 45% precise at estimating gestational age in experiments which involved 38 women, and compared with 48% of ultrasounds.
The blood test was also put to use to determine birth till two months in advance of labor starting. The test was used in two different groups of women, in one it was right four times of five and in the other six times out of eight.
One of the researchers, Mira Moufarrej, stated that he is extremely excited with the potential of this test. He further stated that, "If we can use a mother's blood to make healthcare more accessible and affordable to people that don't have access to ultrasounds, then hopefully that means healthier babies and healthier pregnancies."
But, Mira accentuated that this test was yet on an initial study and the outcomes required to be sure in bigger trials.
A Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, Professor Basky Thilaganathan stated that, "Complications from premature birth are a leading cause of infant mortality and affect 7-8% of all births in the UK.” However, he feels that the total number of cases in the study were small and the preciseness of prediction was poor for premature births. He also said that more research is required to confirm the findings prior to it can be taken in clinical settings.