Pre-eclampsia: placental growth factor testing cuts time to diagnosis

  • Lancet

  • curated by Dawn O'Shea
  • UK Medical News
Access to the full content of this site is available only to registered healthcare professionals. Access to the full content of this site is available only to registered healthcare professionals.

A new study led by King’s College London suggests the availability of placental growth factor (PlGF) testing substantially reduces the time to clinical confirmation of pre-eclampsia.

The multicentre, stepped-wedge cluster-randomised controlled trial was carried out in 11 maternity units in the United Kingom, which were each responsible for 3000-9000 deliveries per year. Women aged 18 years and older who presented with suspected pre-eclampsia between 20 weeks and 0 days of gestation and 36 weeks and 6 days of gestation, with a live, singleton foetus were included. The primary outcome was time from presentation with suspected pre-eclampsia to documented pre-eclampsia with usual care (in which PlGF measurements were concealed) and intervention (in which circulating PlGF measurement was revealed and a clinical management algorithm was used).

The results, published in the Lancet, showed median time to pre-eclampsia diagnosis was 4.1 days with concealed testing versus 1.9 days with revealed testing (time ratio, 0.36; 95% CI, 0.15-0.87; P=.027).

Maternal severe adverse outcomes were reported in 24 (5%) of 447 women in the concealed testing group versus 22 (4%) of 573 women in the revealed testing group (adjusted OR, 0.32; 95% CI, 0.11-0.96; P=.043), but there was no evidence of a difference in perinatal adverse outcomes (15% vs 14%) or gestation at delivery (36.6 vs 36.8 weeks; mean difference, 0.52, 95% CI, 0.63 to 0.73).

The findings provide novel evidence supporting the adoption of PlGF testing as a diagnostic adjunct in women presenting with suspected pre-eclampsia.

In response to the trial results, NHS England has announced that PlGF testing will be more widely available across the NHS.

Please confirm your acceptance

To gain full access to GPnotebook please confirm:

By submitting here you confirm that you have accepted Terms of Use and Privacy Policy of GPnotebook.

Submit