Amniotic fluid protects the baby in the mother's womb. A new study has shown that by detecting the levels of four proteins in the amniotic fluid doctors can predict the risk of delivering a pre-term baby or whether their infants are at risk of severe infections.
Dr Catalin Buhimschi of Yale University in Connecticut and his associates by using imaging mass spectrometry obtained the details of the proteins present in the amniotic fluid. These were obtained from women who delivered pre-term babies. The researchers identified 13 proteins associated with inflammation of the amniotic fluid.
Then they identified four important proteins that played a major role in the amniotic fluid inflammation. This test is very easy and the results could be obtained within 30 minutes.
The researchers studied 135 women presenting with symptoms of pre-term labor. Then they analyzed the levels of the four proteins in them. They said that in the absence of any of the identified proteins, the patients delivered at full term. In case of some patients one or two of the proteins were identified who later delivered after a median time of four days. For those with three or four proteins, delivery took place within hours.
The researchers also observed a relationship between the inflammation diagnosed by these four proteins and the development of sepsis in the newborn. Sepsis is a dangerous immune reaction to infection or injury that can cause blood pressure to plummet or organs to fail.
By detecting this, doctors can administer antibiotics in the earlier stage. Hence the researchers concluded by saying that this test is a gold standard for the identification of inflammation with neonatal outcome.