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J Reprod Immunol. 2003 Jun;59(1):29-37.

Elevated C-reactive protein levels during first trimester of pregnancy are indicative of preeclampsia and intrauterine growth restriction.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Chemistry, VU University Medical Center, de Boelelaan 1117, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


C-reactive protein (CRP) is a marker of tissue damage and inflammation. Maternal levels of CRP are elevated in overt preeclampsia, but there is still debate about its use as a predictive marker for preeclampsia during the first and second trimesters of pregnancy. In this study, we measured CRP levels during the first trimester of pregnancy in women who later developed preeclampsia or gave birth to a growth-restricted baby. In total, 107 women from a low-risk population participated in the study, six women developed preeclampsia and nine gave birth to a growth-restricted baby. Although there is a large overlap in measured CRP levels between the three groups, mean CRP levels were significantly elevated in women who later developed preeclampsia (P=0.031) or delivered a growth-restricted baby (P=0.041) when compared with women from the control group, matched for maternal and gestational age, parity, and gravidity. This study shows that in a low-risk population, CRP levels are already elevated between weeks 10 and 14 in pregnant women who develop preeclampsia or deliver a growth-restricted baby.

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