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Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol. 2009 Feb;33(2):135-41. doi: 10.1002/uog.6275.

First-trimester maternal serum tumor necrosis factor receptor-1 and pre-eclampsia.

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Harris Birthright Research Centre for Fetal Medicine, King's College Hospital, London, UK.



To examine whether the maternal serum concentration of the soluble receptor-1 of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-R1) at 11-13 weeks of gestation in pregnancies that subsequently develop pre-eclampsia is different from that in women without this complication.


The concentration of TNF-R1 at 11 + 0 to 13 + 6 weeks was measured in samples from 128 cases that subsequently developed pre-eclampsia and 569 controls with no pregnancy complications. TNF-R1 and uterine artery pulsatility index (UtA-PI) values were expressed as multiples of the median (MoM) adjusted for maternal factors. The distributions of log TNF-R1 MoM and log UtA-PI MoM in the control and pre-eclampsia groups were compared. Logistic regression analysis was used to determine whether a significant contribution is provided by maternal factors, TNF-R1 and UtA-PI in predicting pre-eclampsia. The performance of screening was determined by analysis of receiver-operating characteristics curves.


Median TNF-R1 and UtA-PI were significantly higher in the pre-eclampsia group (TNF-R1, 1.062 MoM; UtA-PI, 1.301 MoM) than in the control group (TNF-R1, 0.996 MoM; UtA-PI, 1.037 MoM). There was no significant association between TNF-R1 and gestational age at delivery, birth weight percentile or UtA-PI. Logistic regression analysis demonstrated significant contributions to the detection of pre-eclampsia from maternal factors and UtA-PI but not from TNF-R1.


In pregnancies developing pre-eclampsia the maternal serum TNF-R1 concentration at 11-13 weeks of gestation is increased, but the level of TNF-R1 is not associated with the degree of impairment in placental perfusion or the severity of pre-eclampsia. Measurement of serum TNF-R1 does not improve the prediction of pre-eclampsia provided by screening based on a combination of maternal factors and UtA-PI.

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