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INTRODUCTION: Post-date pregnancies have an increased risk of adverse delivery outcome. Our aim was to explore the association between placenta-associated circulating biomarkers and composite adverse delivery outcome of a likely placental cause in clinically healthy post-date pregnancies. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Women with healthy singleton post-date pregnancies between 40+2 and 42+2  weeks of gestation were recruited to this prospective, observational study conducted at Oslo University Hospital, Norway (NCT03100084). Placental growth factor (PlGF) and soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase-1 (sFlt-1) were measured in the maternal serum samples closest to delivery. The composite adverse delivery outcome included fetal acidemia, low Apgar score (<4 at 1 min or <7 at 5 min), asphyxia, fetal death, assisted ventilation for more than 6 h, meconium aspiration, hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, therapeutic hypothermia, operative delivery due to fetal distress, or pathological placental histology findings. Two study-independent senior consultant obstetricians blinded to biomarker results concluded, based on clinical expert opinion, whether the adverse delivery outcomes were most likely associated with placental dysfunction ("likely placental cause") or not. Means were compared using one-way analysis of variance and Bonferroni corrected pairwise comparisons between groups. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves assessed the predictive ability of PlGF, sFlt-1/PlGF ratio, and PlGF <10th centile after adjustment for gestational age at blood sampling. RESULTS: Of 501 pregnancies reviewed for predefined adverse delivery outcomes and for a likely placental cause, 468 were healthy pregnancies and subsequently assigned to either the "uncomplicated" (no adverse outcome, n = 359), "intermediate" (non-placental cause/undetermined, n = 90), or "complicated" (likely placental cause, n = 19) group. There was a significant difference in mean PlGF and sFlt-1/PlGF ratio between the "complicated", "intermediate", and "uncomplicated" groups (108, 185, and 179 pg/mL, p = 0.001; and 48.3, 23.4, and 24.6, p = 0.002, respectively). There was a higher proportion of PlGF concentration <10th centile in the "complicated" group compared with the "intermediate" and "uncomplicated" groups (42.1% vs. 11.1% and 9.5%, p = 0.001). The largest area under the ROC curve for predicting "complicated" outcome was achieved by PlGF concentration and gestational age at blood sampling (0.76; 95% CI 0.65-0.86). CONCLUSIONS: In clinically healthy post-date pregnancies, an antiangiogenic pre-delivery profile (lower PlGF level and higher sFlt-1/PlGF ratio) was associated with composite adverse delivery outcome of a likely placental cause.

Original publication




Journal article


Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand

Publication Date





1893 - 1901


angiogenic factors, biomarkers, neonatal outcome, placental growth factor, post-date, post-term, pregnancy, soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase-1, Adult, Biomarkers, Female, Fetal Distress, Humans, Infant, Newborn, Placenta, Placenta Growth Factor, Pregnancy, Pregnancy Outcome, Pregnancy, Prolonged, Prenatal Diagnosis, Sensitivity and Specificity, Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Receptor-1