Objective: The objective of this study was to assess the efficacy of a bedside test kit for phosphorylated insulin-like growth factor binding protein-1 (IGFBP-1) in the diagnosis of preterm labour and the prediction of subsequent preterm delivery.Materials and Methods: We performed a bedside test for IGFBP-1 in 47 women who presented to the delivery suite in suspected preterm labour between 23 and 33 weeks. Tocolysis and steroid therapy were administered in all cases. Results: Twenty-nine women (61.7%) tested negative and 18 women tested positive (38.3%). There was no statistical significance between the 2 groups except that the test-positive group had a greater median cervical dilatation (2.0 cm) compared to the test-negative group (1.0 cm) (P <0.05). The women who tested positive had a statistically significant longer median duration of hospitalisation, stay in delivery suite and tocolytic therapy (5.0 days, 56.0 hours and 34.5 hours respectively) compared to women who were test-negative (3.0 days, 19.0 hours and 10.0 hours respectively) (P <0.05). In addition, 91.7% of the patients in the IGFBP-1 negative group had a delay of more than 7 days between the onset of contractions and delivery, while only 44.4% of the women in the pIGFBP-1 positive group experienced such a delay. Conclusion: These results suggest that there may be a role for cervical IGFBP-1 test in the management of women presenting with suspected preterm labour. It may allow us to focus our efforts on women who are more likely to have a preterm delivery and perhaps allow us to avoid unnecessary treatment and to contain healthcare costs.
The diagnosis of preterm labour poses a problem. Preterm labour accounts for about 50% of preterm births; however, most data reveal that only about 20% of women presenting with suspected preterm labour actually deliver preterm.
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