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Assessing the Pregnant Patient: A Review of New Potential Screening Tests

Latisha Love-Gregory PhD, Ann M. Gronowski PhD
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1309/N4PGMNVUELPLBLYD 371-374 First published online: 1 June 2006


Nearly 28,000 infants die each year. Some causes of infant death cannot be prevented. Others could perhaps be prevented if physicians were able to predict and/or diagnose disease early enough to allow treatment. This review focuses on new laboratory tests that could impact the leading causes of infant mortality. It is unclear if any of these tests will become incorporated into clinical practice, but all demonstrate potential advantages over currently available laboratory testing. Urine invasive trophoblast antigen may improve the sensitivity of screening for Down syndrome. Cervicovaginal IL-6 has a negative predictive value identical to fetal fibronectin but is far less expensive. Serum soluble fms-like tyrosine 1 and placental growth factor may have the ability to predict preeclampsia at 5 to 6 days prior to the onset of symptoms. Finally, a new FDA-approved, rapid PCR for Group B streptococcus offers a faster turnaround time.