Proteomic identification of serum peptides predicting subsequent spontaneous preterm birth

M. Sean Esplin, Karen Merrell, Robert Goldenberg, Yinglei Lai, Jay D. Iams, Brian Mercer, Catherine Y. Spong, Menachem Miodovnik, Hygriv N. Simhan, Peter Van Dorsten, Mitchell Dombrowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


Objective We sought to identify serum markers of subsequent spontaneous preterm birth (SPTB) in asymptomatic women prior to labor. Study design Serum proteomics was applied to sera from 80 pregnant women sampled at 24 weeks and an additional 80 pregnant women sampled at 28 weeks. Half had uncomplicated pregnancies and half had SPTB. Results Three specific peptides arising from inter-alpha-trypsin inhibitor heavy chain 4 protein were significantly reduced in women at 24 and 28 weeks having subsequent SPTB. The most discriminating peptide had a sensitivity of 65.0% and specificity of 82.5%; odds ratio, 8.8; and 95% confidence interval, 3.124.8. A combination of the 3 new biomarkers and 6 previously studied biomarkers increased sensitivity to 86.5%, with a specificity of 80.6% at 28 weeks. Conclusion Three novel serum markers of SPTB have been identified using serum proteomics. Using a combination of these new markers with additional markers, women at risk of SPTB can be identified weeks prior to SPTB.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)391.e1-391.e8
JournalAmerican journal of obstetrics and gynecology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • amino acid sequencing
  • biomarker
  • mass spectrometry
  • preterm birth
  • proteomics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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