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Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol. 2017 Feb;49(2):201-208. doi: 10.1002/uog.17307.

Comparison of screening for pre-eclampsia at 31-34 weeks' gestation by sFlt-1/PlGF ratio and a method combining maternal factors with sFlt-1 and PlGF.

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Harris Birthright Research Centre for Fetal Medicine, King's College Hospital, London, UK.
Institute of Health Research, University of Exeter, Exeter, UK.
Department of Fetal Medicine, Medway Maritime Hospital, Gillingham, UK.



To estimate the patient-specific risk of pre-eclampsia (PE) at 31-34 weeks' gestation by a combination of maternal characteristics and medical history with multiples of the median (MoM) values of serum placental growth factor (PlGF) and serum soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase-1 (sFlt-1) and to compare the performance of screening to that achieved by the sFlt-1/PlGF ratio.


This was a prospective observational study in women attending a third-trimester ultrasound scan at 31-34 weeks as part of routine pregnancy care. We estimated the performance of screening for PE with delivery within 4 weeks of assessment and PE with delivery from 4 weeks after assessment up to 40 weeks' gestation by the sFlt-1/PlGF ratio and by a method utilizing Bayes' theorem that combines maternal factors and MoM values of sFlt-1 and PlGF. The significance of the difference in screening performance between the two methods was assessed by comparison of the areas under the receiver-operating characteristics curves (AUC).


The study population of 8063 singleton pregnancies included 231 (2.9%) that subsequently developed PE. In the prediction of delivery with PE at < 4 weeks from assessment, the performance of the method utilizing Bayes' theorem was similar to that using the sFlt-1/PlGF ratio (AUC, 0.987 (95% CI, 0.979-0.995) vs 0.988 (95% CI, 0.981-0.994); P = 0.961). In contrast, the performance of screening for delivery with PE at ≥ 4 weeks after assessment up to 40 weeks' gestation was better with the method utilizing Bayes' theorem than that with the sFlt-1/PlGF ratio (AUC, 0.884 (95% CI, 0.854-0.914) vs 0.818 (95% CI, 0.775-0.860); P < 0.0001).


At 31-34 weeks' gestation the performance of screening for PE delivering at < 4 weeks from assessment by the method utilizing Bayes' theorem is similar to that using the sFlt-1/PlGF ratio, but the former is superior to the latter in prediction of PE delivering ≥ 4 weeks from assessment. Copyright © 2016 ISUOG. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


placental growth factor; pre-eclampsia; pyramid of antenatal care; soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase-1

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