Mid-gestational changes in cervicovaginal fluid cytokine levels in asymptomatic pregnant women are predictive markers of inflammation-associated spontaneous preterm birth

Publication date: April 2018
Source:Journal of Reproductive Immunology, Volume 126
Author(s): Emmanuel Amabebe, David R. Chapman, Victoria L. Stern, Graham Stafford, Dilly O.C. Anumba
ObjectivesPerturbation of the choriodecidual space before the onset of spontaneous preterm birth (sPTB) could lead to a concomitant rise in both cervicovaginal fluid (CVF) cytokine and fetal fibronectin (FFN), and assessing the concentrations of both markers could improve the prediction of sPTB (delivery before 37 completed weeks of gestation). Therefore, we prospectively determined mid-trimester changes in CVF cytokine and FFN concentrations, and their predictive capacity for sPTB in asymptomatic pregnant women.Study designCVF collected at 20+0–22+6 weeks (n = 47: Preterm-delivered = 22, Term-delivered = 25) and 26+0–28+6 weeks (n = 50: Preterm-delivered = 17, Term-delivered = 33) from 63 asymptomatic pregnant women at risk of sPTB were examined. Cytokine and FFN concentrations were determined by multiplexed bead-based immunoassay and 10Q Rapid analysis (Hologic, MA, USA) respectively. The 20+0–22+6/26+0–28+6 weeks ratios of cytokines and FFN concentrations were compared between preterm- and term-delivered women using Receiver Operating Characteristics curves to predict sPTB. Also, bacterial 16S rDNA from 64 samples (20+0–22+6 weeks n = 36, 26+0–28+6 weeks n = 28) was amplified by polymerase chain reaction to determine associations between vaginal microflora, cytokine and FFN concentrations.ResultsChanges in RANTES and IL-1β concentrations between 20+0–22+6 and 26+0–28+6 weeks, expressed as a ratios, were predictive of sPTB, RANTES (AUC = 0.82, CI = 0.62–0.94) more so than IL-1β (AUC = 0.71, CI = 0.53–0.85) and FFN (not predictive). Combining these markers (AUC = 0.83, CI = 0.63–0.95) showed similar predictive capacity as RANTES alone. FFN concentrations at 26+0–28+6 weeks correlated with IL-1β (r = 0.4, P = 0.002) and RANTES (r = 0.3, P = 0.03). In addition, there was increased prevalence of vaginal anaerobes including Bacteroides, Fusobacterium and Mobiluncus between gestational time points in women who experienced sPTB compared to the term women (P = 0.0006).ConclusionsCVF RANTES and IL-1β in mid-trimester of pregnancy correlate with quantitative FFN. The levels of CVF RANTES and IL-1β decline significantly in women who deliver at term unlike women who deliver preterm. This observation suggests that sPTB may be characterised by sustained choriodecidual inflammation and may have clinical value in serial screening for sPTB if confirmed by larger studies.