Cervicovaginal Fluid Beta Human Chorionic Gonadotropin Assay as an Early Predictor of Spontaneous Preterm Delivery among Antenatal Patients
BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to assess the usefulness of the beta subunit of hCG in cervicovaginal secretions as a biochemical predictor of spontaneous preterm delivery among pregnant women with and without preterm delivery risk.
DESIGN: This was an eight-month prospective case control study of pregnant women with or without risk factors for preterm delivery.
SETTING: Ifako- Ijaye General Hospital Lagos/ Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja Lagos Nigeria.
PARTICIPANTS: 150 pregnant women which consisted of 50 cases with preterm delivery risk and 100 controls without preterm delivery risk.
INTERVENTIONS: A structured interviewer administered questionnaire which had been pretested, was used to collect data. Two cervicovaginal fluid samples at 26 weeks and 32 weeks were collected from each of the participants and it was quantitatively assayed using ELISA for presence of beta hCG. The participants were followed up till delivery.
RESULTS: 15 participants out of the 50 cases delivered their babies preterm, while only 2 participants out of the 100 controls had preterm delivery. The 15 cases who delivered preterm had significant increase in their mean beta HCG value from 7.44±1.74 at 26 weeks to 32.6±1.32 at 32 weeks with p value<0.001. There was however no statistical difference in the mean beta HCG at 26 weeks and at 32 weeks for the control group.
CONCLUSION: The concentration of beta HCG in the cervicovaginal fluid is a useful early predictor of preterm delivery especially among patients with risk factors.
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