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NOVEL TEST TO PREDICT THE RISK OF PRETERM BIRTH

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Clinical evaluation alone, including the measurement of cervical length and dilatation, is not sufficiently predictive of imminent delivery among patients with signs of threatened preterm labor.

 

Similarly, currently available biomarker tests, such as that which is based on the detection of fetal fibronectin (fFN), have high negative predictive values on the one hand, but extremely poor positive predictive values for imminent delivery on the other hand, leading to many false positive results causing unnecessary costs to the system and burden to the patients.

 

After a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled clinical trials of fFN, “…the initial promise for fetal fibronectin testing in women with threatened preterm labor (i.e. avoidance of unnecessary interventions and hospital admissions at no cost to rate of preterm birth) has not been realized…In fact, hospital costs may be higher when fetal fibronectin results are used in clinical management.”10,11