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J Soc Gynecol Investig. 2000 May-Jun;7(3):170-4.

Second-trimester levels of maternal serum human chorionic gonadotropin and inhibin a as predictors of preeclampsia in the third trimester of pregnancy.

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Department of Pathology, Women and Infants Hospital, Brown University School of Medicine, Providence, Rhode Island, USA.



To determine whether second-trimester maternal serum levels of inhibin A, human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), unconjugated estriol (uE3), and alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) are predictive of the later onset of preeclampsia in pregnancy.


Retrospective evaluation of serum analyte levels in 60 women with preeclampsia compared with 300 controls. Levels of each analyte were compared in women with preeclampsia and controls using matched rank analysis. Analytes that were significantly different between groups were examined with univariate and bivariate Gaussian distribution analysis.


Second-trimester inhibin A (1.36 multiples of the median [MoM]) and hCG (1.40 MoM) levels were significantly but modestly elevated in women who later developed preeclampsia. A combination test of maternal age plus inhibin A and hCG predicted 23% of cases of preeclampsia with 95% specificity. There was a statistically significant trend for inhibin A, but not hCG, levels to be higher when the onset of preeclampsia occurred within a shorter (<17 weeks) interval after collection of the second-trimester screening sample.


Second-trimester serum levels of inhibin A and hCG are modest predictors of the later onset of preeclampsia. Inhibin A may be a better predictor of early-onset preeclampsia, which is associated with a higher maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality, than preeclampsia at or near term.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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