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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

First-trimester biochemical markers of aneuploidy and the prediction of small-for-gestational age fetuses.

OBJECTIVES: To examine the clinical utility of the first-trimester biochemical markers of aneuploidy in their ability to predict subsequent delivery of a small-for-gestational age (SGA) infant. METHODS: We examined singleton pregnancies with no chromosomal abnormality and with complete outcome data that had undergone screening for trisomy 21 by a combination of fetal nuchal translucency (NT) thickness and maternal serum free beta-human chorionic gonadotropin (beta-hCG) and pregnancy-associated plasma protein-A (PAPP-A) at 11 + 0 and 13 + 6 weeks' gestation. The biochemical markers were converted to multiples of the expected normal median (MoM) for a pregnancy of the same gestation. The association between free beta-hCG and PAPP-A and the incidence of SGA were assessed by comparing the relative incidence at MoM cut-offs and birth-weight centile cut-offs. At various marker levels the likelihood ratios (LR) for SGA were also calculated after excluding other adverse pregnancy complications. RESULTS: There were 46,262 pregnancies resulting in live births with birth weight at or above the 10(th) centile, and 3,539 below the 10(th) centile for gestation (SGA). There was a significant inverse association between the risk for SGA and maternal serum PAPP-A MoM but not free beta-hCG MoM. At the 5(th) centile of the normal outcome group for PAPP-A (0.415 MoM) the odds ratios for SGA below the 10(th), 5(th) and 3(rd) centiles of normal were 2.70, 3.21 and 3.66 and the respective detection rates for SGA were 12.0%, 14.0% and 16.0%. CONCLUSIONS: Low levels of maternal serum PAPP-A are associated, in the absence of an abnormal karyotype, with an increased risk for subsequent delivery of an SGA infant.[1]


  1. First-trimester biochemical markers of aneuploidy and the prediction of small-for-gestational age fetuses. Spencer, K., Cowans, N.J., Avgidou, K., Molina, F., Nicolaides, K.H. Ultrasound. Obstet. Gynecol (2008) [Pubmed]
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