Discovery of blood proteins that are red flags for ectopic pregnancy

Feb 16, 2011

A long, urgent search for proteins in the blood of pregnant women that could be used in early diagnosis of ectopic pregnancy (EP) has resulted in discovery of biomarkers that seem to be specific enough to begin testing in clinical trials, scientists are reporting in a new study in ACS's Journal of Proteome Research.

David Speicher and colleagues explain that ectopic pregnancy happens when an embryo does not attach normally inside the mother's uterus, but instead attaches and begins growing elsewhere. Most occur inside one of the Fallopian tubes, which link the ovaries to the uterus. Left undiagnosed, EP can burst the Fallopian tube and result in bleeding that is the second most common cause of maternal death early in the first trimester of pregnancy. EP is difficult for doctors to diagnose, and scientists long have searched for substances present in the blood of women with EP that could be the basis for a test.

The scientists describe discovery of such proteins in blood analyzed from women with ectopic pregnancies and compared it to blood of women with normal pregnancies. They identified almost 70 proteins occurring in unusual levels in the blood in EPs. One of those proteins is called Adam12 and it might be a particularly good early warning sign for EP, since it appears at levels that are 20 times lower than in normal pregnancies. "The next step is clearly to test the candidate on a larger, independent patient group, both individually and in multi-biomarker panels," the report states.

Explore further: Oat breakfast cereals may contain a common mold-related toxin

More information: "Systematic Discovery of Ectopic Pregnancy Serum Biomarkers Using 3-D Protein Profiling Coupled with Label-free Quantitation", Journal of Proteome Research.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

New biomarker may help diagnose ectopic pregnancies

Nov 04, 2010

Researchers may have identified a promising novel diagnostic biomarker for ectopic pregnancy, according to a study accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM) ...

Low vitamin D during pregnancy linked to pre-eclampsia

Sep 07, 2007

Vitamin D deficiency early in pregnancy is associated with a five-fold increased risk of preeclampsia, according to a study from the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences reported this week in the Journal of ...

Recommended for you

Researchers bring clean energy a step closer

Feb 27, 2015

For nearly half a century, scientists have been trying to replace precious metal catalysts in fuel cells. Now, for the first time, researchers at Case Western Reserve University have shown that an inexpensive metal-free catalyst ...

The construction of ordered nanostructures from benzene

Feb 27, 2015

A way to link benzene rings together in a highly ordered three-dimensional helical structure using a straightforward polymerization procedure has been discovered by researchers from RIKEN Center for Sustainable ...

Superatomic nickel core and unusual molecular reactivity

Feb 27, 2015

A superatom is a combination of two or more atoms that form a stable structural fragment and possess unique physical and chemical properties. Systems, that contain superatoms, open a number of amazing possibilities ...

Oat breakfast cereals may contain a common mold-related toxin

Feb 25, 2015

Oats are often touted for boosting heart health, but scientists warn that the grain and its products might need closer monitoring for potential mold contamination. They report in ACS' Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry that s ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.