Researchers Develop New Blood Test to Predict Preterm Birth

The UCSF Preterm Birth Initiative is proud to announce the development of a blood test to predict a mother’s risk of preterm birth.

With the support of the UCSF Preterm Birth Initiative funded by Marc and Lynn Benioff, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and the March of Dimes, researchers at UCSF, in partnership with investigators at the University of Iowa; Stanford University; and the University of California, San Diego have developed a mid-pregnancy blood test that is able to identify approximately 80% of women who will go on to have a spontaneous preterm birth. The test, which combines information about a woman’s obstetric risks like hypertension, diabetes, and obesity with information from markers in the blood related to placental, lipid, immune, and hormone function, can be used as early as 15 weeks of gestation, offering the promise of intervention early in pregnancy.

The test can identify at-risk pregnant women who might benefit from interventions aimed at delaying delivery and improving fetal outcomes. Eventually women may be able to receive the test in clinical settings when they receive tests for Down Syndrome and other congenital anomalies.

Read the full press release.

The story was picked up by local Fox 2 station KVTU. Watch the segment below.