Joint research by the University of Australia and the University of Toronto, Canada have developed a groundbreaking new test which can accurately predict the delivery date of a pregnant woman.
This would help to indicate women that are likely to go into early labor, which would help to prepare for special care, at the earliest. This could even include drugs to delay labor to allow for the full development of an immature baby.
The study was performed on 40 women with such accurate results that the researchers have applied for a worldwide patent on some genes found in the WBC's which have been found to initiate delivery.
The test would prove beneficial to both patients and health care providers because present knowledge does not make it easy to predict whether a woman undergoing early contractions would deliver pre term or not.
Dr Craig Pennell, maternal foetal medicine lecturer at the University of WA, will release the results of the study at a Perinatal Society of Australia and New Zealand congress in Perth tomorrow.
Along with Canadian colleague Stephen Lye, Dr Pennel found that up to 100 genes from a sample of 20,000 could forecast the birth date with an accuracy of about 90%. Although the development of a test was still at it infant stages, it would definitely have implications for many women.