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Quick PlGF test can accurately quantify risk of pre-eclampsia

Posted: 23 November 2012 by Hollie Ewers

A new study suggests that a blood test measuring placental growth factor can help to assess the risk of pre-eclampsia in women suspected with the condition.

Alere PLGF test
Alere Triage® PLGF test
The PELICAN study used the Alere Triage PLGF test to measure PlGF levels in 625 women with suspected pre-eclampsia in their first visit.

In women presenting before 35 weeks gestation, who were managed in accordance with standard clinical protocols, a high PlGF level strongly correlated with low risk for required delivery in the next 14 days.

Some 96% of the women with a normal test result were correctly diagnosed as not at risk.

Conversely, a low PlGF level accurately identified women at high risk from preterm delivery, and 94% of women with an abnormal result went on to require early delivery.

Professor of obstetric medicine at the University of Oxford and PELICAN investigator Christopher Redman said: ‘Pre-eclampsia is notoriously unpredictable. Reliable tests that can be used in the clinical setting, when pre-eclampsia is first suspected, would be a notable breakthrough in the management of this life-threatening condition.

‘The PELICAN data have demonstrated that PlGF testing before 35 weeks enables physicians to categorise women into low and high risk for disease progression and to adjust clinical management appropriately.’

The Alere Triage PLGF test takes 15 minutes to deliver a result from a maternal plasma specimen.

The test is currently available for use as an aid in diagnosing pre-eclampsia in women suspected with it before 35 weeks’ gestation. An expanded indication for its use as an aid in risk stratification for required preterm delivery will soon be CE marked.