Prediction of pre-eclampsia during early pregnancy in primiparas with soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase-1 and placental growth factor

D K Rohra, A Zeb, R N Qureishi, S I Azam, N B Khan, H S Zuberi, R Sikandar
National Medical Journal of India 2012, 25 (2): 68-73

BACKGROUND: We hypothesized that pre-eclampsia (PE) can be predicted early in primiparas by measuring serum levels of soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase-1 (sFlt-1) and placental growth factor (PlGF).

METHODS: All normotensive primiparas attending the antenatal clinics of Aga Khan University Hospital and Aga Khan Hospital for Women, Karachi, Pakistan without any known risk factor for PE were invited to participate in the study. They were divided into two groups based on the development of PE. Their blood samples were collected at 8-15, 16-22, 23-28, 29v34 weeks of pregnancy and once within 1 week of delivery. All samples were analysed for sFlt-1 and PlGF.

RESULTS: Six hundred and eleven (46.7%) of 1307 recruited primiparas completed the study according to the protocol. Of these, 39 (6.4%) women developed PE. The difference in serum sFlt-1 was evident as early as 15 weeks of gestation. Higher levels of serum sFlt-1 were present in women who later developed PE. Relatively higher levels of PlGF were observed in non-PE women compared to PE women up to 22 weeks of gestation. However, after 23 weeks of pregnancy, PlGF levels increased in both the groups, but less so in the PE group. Receiver operator characteristics (ROC) curve analysis showed that even in early pregnancy (<15 weeks of gestation), serum sFlt-1 alone has the potential to predict PE with area under the curve (AUC), sensitivity and specificity of 0.81, 75.9 and 72.4, respectively.

CONCLUSION: PE can be predicted in primiparas in the early part of second trimester with serum levels of sFlt-1 and in the later part of second trimester with serum levels of PlGF.

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