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Br Med J (Clin Res Ed). 1987 Jan 31;294(6567):270-2.

Increased saliva oestriol to progesterone ratio before preterm delivery: a possible predictor for preterm labor?


Saliva oestriol, oestradiol, and progesterone concentrations were measured in 23 women who went into spontaneous preterm labour. The patients fell clinically and biochemically into two groups. The 13 who went into preterm labour with intact membranes had a saliva oestriol to progesterone ratio greater than one in every case and greater than the 95th centile for their length of gestation in 12 cases; by contrast, all those who went into spontaneous preterm labour after prolonged rupture of the membranes had an oestriol to progesterone ratio less than one and below the 50th centile for their period of gestation in the one to four days before delivery. Saliva oestradiol to progesterone ratios were randomly distributed throughout the normal range in both groups. It appears that preterm labour without prior prolonged rupture of the membranes is, like term labour, preceded by an increase in the saliva oestriol to progesterone ratio. It may therefore be possible to use this ratio to predict preterm labour.

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