Prediction of small-for-gestational-age neonates: screening by biophysical and biochemical markers at 30-34 weeks

S Bakalis, G Peeva, R Gonzalez, L C Poon, K H Nicolaides
Ultrasound in Obstetrics & Gynecology 2015, 46 (4): 446-51

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the potential value of combined screening by maternal characteristics and medical history (maternal factors), estimated fetal weight (EFW), uterine artery pulsatility index (UtA-PI), mean arterial pressure (MAP) and serum levels of placental growth factor (PlGF) and soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase-1 (sFlt-1) at 30-34 weeks' gestation in the prediction of delivery of small-for-gestational-age (SGA) neonates, in the absence of pre-eclampsia (PE).

METHODS: This was a screening study in 9472 singleton pregnancies at 30-34 weeks' gestation, comprising 469 that delivered SGA neonates and 9003 cases unaffected by SGA, PE or gestational hypertension. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was used to determine if UtA-PI, MAP and serum PlGF or sFlt-1, individually or in combination, improved the prediction of SGA neonates provided from screening by maternal factors and EFW.

RESULTS: Compared to the normal group, mean log10 multiples of the median (MoM) values of UtA-PI, MAP and serum sFlt-1 were significantly higher and log10 MoM PlGF was lower in the SGA group. Multivariable logistic regression analysis demonstrated that in the prediction of SGA neonates with a birth weight < 5(th) percentile, delivering < 5 weeks and ≥ 5 weeks after assessment, there were significant independent contributions from maternal factors, EFW, UtA-PI, MAP, and serum PlGF and sFlt-1, but the best performance was provided by a combination of maternal factors, EFW, UtA-PI, MAP and serum PlGF, excluding sFlt-1. Combined screening predicted, at a 10% false-positive rate, 89%, 94%, 96% of SGA neonates delivering at 32-36 weeks' gestation with birth weight < 10(th) , < 5(th) and < 3(rd) percentiles, respectively; the respective detection rates of combined screening for SGA neonates delivering ≥ 37 weeks were 57%, 65% and 72%.

CONCLUSION: Combined screening by maternal factors and biophysical and biochemical markers at 30-34 weeks' gestation could identify a high proportion of pregnancies that will deliver SGA neonates.

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