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Gynecol Obstet Invest. 1993;36(3):145-7.

Elevated plasma interleukin 6: a biochemical marker of human preterm labour.

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  • 1Monash Perinatal Unit, Monash Medical Centre, Clayton, Vic., Australia.


Maternal peripheral venous plasma interleukin 6 (IL-6) concentrations were determined during human pregnancy and labour at term and preterm. During preterm labour, IL-6 concentrations were significantly elevated (p < 0.02) compared to gestationally matched, non-labouring controls (53.7 +/- 15.7 pg/ml, n = 17, and 15.4 +/- 6.4 pg/ml, n = 23, respectively). IL-6 concentrations did not vary significantly during normal pregnancy and labour at term. These data support a role for IL-6 in the pathogenesis of human preterm labour, are evidence for the contention that preterm labour is mechanistically distinct at a biochemical level from normal labour at term and identify maternal peripheral venous plasma IL-6 as a biochemical marker of this condition.

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