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Prenat Diagn. 2007 Apr;27(4):312-6.

Does vaginal bleeding influence first-trimester markers for Down syndrome?

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Münster, Münster, Germany.



To examine the effect of early vaginal bleeding on first-trimester screening markers for Down syndrome.


A retrospective study was conducted on 1755 normal singleton fetuses that underwent first-trimester combined screening for Down syndrome on the basis of ultrasound and maternal serum markers. Fetal delta-nuchal translucency (NT), maternal serum pregnancy-associated plasma protein A (PAPP-A) and free beta-hCG were compared between pregnancies with (n = 252) and without (n = 1503) an episode of vaginal bleeding. Subgroup analysis for the intensity of bleeding (spotting n = 191; light n = 32; heavy n = 29) was performed.


The median +/- SD (log(10)) for delta-NT, multiple of medians (MoM) PAPP-A and MoM free beta-hCG (corrected for maternal weight, smoking and ethnicity) was - 0.17 +/- 0.62, 1.10 +/- 0.28, 1.1 +/- 0.28 and - 0.15 +/- 0.51, 0.98 +/- 0.26, 0.94 +/- 0.3 in pregnancies with and without a history of early vaginal bleeding, which were not significantly different. Exclusion of patients with spotting from the vaginal bleeding group revealed significantly higher maternal serum free beta-hCG MoM values (median +/- SD (log(10))) compared to patients without bleeding, 1.29 +/- 0.27 vs 0.96 +/- 0.3(p = 0.011). Screen-positive (cut off of 1:350) rate after combined first-trimester screening was 28.1% in patients with light vaginal bleeding and 8.4% in patients without bleeding (p = 0.001).


Light vaginal bleeding before first-trimester combined screening for Down syndrome leads to a higher screen-positive rate after combined first trimester screening, without a significant difference in serum levels of the screening markers.

Copyright (c) 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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