Association of maternal serum alpha-fetoprotein with persistent placenta previa.

I don’t know what this is, but it makes me wonder if there is a blood test that could indicate the likelihood of a previa persisting.


Koster EL, Dashe JS, McIntire DD, Ramus RM.


Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, TX 75390-9032, USA.



To evaluate the relationship between maternal serum alpha-fetoprotein (MSAFP) and the risk of persistent placenta previa.


We conducted a retrospective cohort study of singleton pregnancies with sonographic evidence of placenta previa at 15-20 weeks’ gestation, between October 1991 and August 2000. Only pregnancies with MSAFP determination at 15-20 weeks’ gestation and non-anomalous live-born infants > or =24 weeks’ gestation were included. Pregnancies in which Cesarean delivery was performed for placenta previa were considered persistent; this was the primary outcome.


Of 275 women with previa at 15-20 weeks’ gestation, 33 (12%) had previa at delivery. Trend analysis revealed a greater likelihood ofpersistent previa with increasing MSAFP values (p=0.01). Mid-trimester MSAFP <1 multiple of the median (MoM) was associated with a decreased incidence of persistence of 4%, significantly less than the risk at > or =1 MoM (16%; p=0.01).


There is an association between increasing MSAFP values and greater likelihood of persistent placenta previa. An MSAFP value <1 MoM is associated with a reduction in the risk of persistence of previa to delivery.



[PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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