CREAL: Urinary metabolic profiles in early pregnancy associated with preterm birth

CREAL: Urinary metabolic profiles in early pregnancy associated with preterm birth

News from CREAL

Urinary metabolites measured at the end of the first trimester are associated with increased risk of negative birth outcomes, and provide novel information about the possible mechanisms leading to adverse pregnancies in the Rhea cohort. This study, published in BMC Medicine, emphasizes the potential of metabolic profiling of urine as a means to identify novel non-invasive biomarkers of PB and FGR risk.

The researchers analyzed the metabolites – molecules excreted in urine – of 438 pregnant women in the Rhea cohort. They found that elevated levels of the amino acid lysine were associated with spontaneous premature birth. In contrast, increased levels of the glycoprotein – a molecule consisting of a carbohydrate and protein – is linked with women who had to be induced early. Decreased levels of a third group of molecules: acetate, formate, tyrosine and trimethylamine were associated with poor fetal development.

Acording Manolis Kogevinas, CREAL researcher who had participated in this study, “our findings imply that it could be possible to improve the identification of women at higher risk of delivering smaller babies or premature delivery using non-invasive metabolic profiling technology early in pregnancy”. Researchers confirmed that N-acetyl glycoprotein and IPB were significantly associated in overweight and obese women only.

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Léa Maitre, Eleni Fthenou, Toby Athersuch, Muireann Coen, Mireille B Toledano, Elaine Holmes, Manolis Kogevinas, Leda Chatzi and Hector C Keun. Urinary metabolic profiles in early pregnancy are associated with preterm birth and fetal growth restriction in the Rhea mother–child cohort study. BMC Medicine 2014