PerkinElmer’s DELFIA Xpress PIGF 1-2-3 assay has been successfully utilized for identifying and monitoring women who are at risk of preeclampsia as part of Fetal Medicine Foundation’s ASPRE study. The results of this study, which examined if small doses of aspirin therapy could reduce the risk of preeclampsia, were published in The New England Journal of Medicine.
Preeclampsia, a condition that affects some women after their 20th week of pregnancy is characterized by an increase in blood pressure that can result in premature birth as well as leading to serious maternal and infant health complications. It is estimated by the Preeclampsia Foundation that preeclampsia is responsible for approximately 76,000 maternal and 50,000 infant deaths each year, however, it is noted these estimates are conservative.
The results of the study reported compelling evidence that a small daily dose of aspirin (150mg) taken during the 11th–14th week of pregnancy could result in a 62% reduction of premature delivery (defined as before 37 weeks) caused by pre-term preeclampsia. In addition, the study reported that aspirin may also delay or even prevent the onset of preeclampsia.
“This extensive study is definitive proof that women can take simple measures in the first trimester of pregnancy to significantly reduce their chances of developing pre-term preeclampsia,” commented Chairman of the Fetal Medicine Foundation, Kypros Nicolaides (King’s College London, UK), “PerkinElmer’s DELFIA Xpress PlGF 1-2-3 assay enabled us to identify those women, at high risk, who would benefit from the administration of low-dose aspirin throughout their pregnancy. This screening test now needs to be become standard of care in all countries.”
The DELFIA Xpress PlGF 1-2-3 assay, which is highly sensitive and optimized for use during the first trimester, can detect levels of placental growth factor – a biomarker that is associated with preeclampsia in serum samples. It has been demonstrated that this assay can reliably identify the risk of preeclampsia and early onset preeclampsia when used in conjunction with maternal history and blood pressure measurements. This makes it possible to recognize high-risk pregnancies so that preventative actions can be taken if necessary.
“While we don’t expect a single miracle cure for preeclampsia, we’re excited that women and their healthcare providers can reasonably consider aspirin as a proven intervention for many pregnancies at risk for pre-term delivery due to preeclampsia,” commented Eleni Tsigas, from the Preeclampsia Foundation. “This study enhances the evidence base for recommendations already made by the American College of Obstetricians (ACOG) and the United States Preventative Services Task Force.”
Prahlad Singh, Senior Vice President and President, Diagnostics, PerklinElmer, commented: “As a global leader in prenatal screening for more than 30 years and the first company to offer a preeclampsia screening assay for the first trimester, our key role in this groundbreaking study is helping improve health outcomes for expectant mothers and their babies. With this latest research underscoring the need for first trimester screening for preeclampsia, we are committed to working with governmental bodies and professional organizations to help implement this critical prenatal test for the benefit of all pregnant women.”