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Maternal Blood Test may Help Rule Out Pregnancy Complications

by Karishma Abhishek on January 5, 2022 at 11:50 PM
Maternal Blood Test may Help Rule Out Pregnancy Complications

Pregnancy health and preeclampsia can be predicted with RNA sequencing from a single blood draw as per a study at the Brigham and Women's Hospital, published in Nature.

Although ultrasound technologies and minimally invasive procedures are powerful tools to assess pregnancy health, the well-being of the baby and placenta is difficult to assess. Hence, the team formulated a pre-emptive tool to identify pregnancy complications like preeclampsia.


Preeclampsia is one of the leading causes of maternal and infant morbidity and mortality. It is characterized by a high blood pressure, protein in the urine, and leg swelling (signs of kidney damage).

The team thereby analyzed 1,840 pregnancies across eight diverse patient cohorts to identify the maternal, fetal, and placental genes (via circulating RNAs in the mother's blood) that are "activated" at sequential points in pregnancy.

This may help deliver details on the stage of gestation and their complications with the help of advanced technological innovation.

"Looking at the progression of genes expressed in the mother and baby during pregnancy offers an entirely new way of characterizing their health that hasn't been available up until now. Early detection of disease using this approach will provide us with the distinct possibility of therapeutically addressing some of these conditions," says senior author Thomas McElrath, MD, PhD, of the Brigham's Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine.

Source: Medindia
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