Value of serum urocortin concentration in the prediction of preterm birth


Dr Maryam Kashanian, 9 Mostaghimi Alley, Khajeh Nasir Toosi Avenue, 16117 Tehran, Iran. Email:


Aim:  Preterm delivery is a serious problem during pregnancy with remarkable neonatal adverse effects. Prediction of preterm delivery in women with preterm uterine contractions or signs of preterm labor is critical because if these women are identified they can be referred to tertiary centers. The present study aimed to evaluate the value of maternal serum urocortin concentration for predicting preterm delivery in women with signs of spontaneous preterm labor.

Material and Methods:  A cohort study was conducted on pregnant women at a gestational age of 28–36 weeks who were admitted to the labor ward with spontaneous preterm labor. A blood sample was obtained from all participants to measure serum urocortin. The women were monitored up to delivery and serum urocortin was compared between women with preterm delivery and those who delivered at term (37 weeks of gestation). Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curve analysis was used to determine sensitivity and specificity if applicable.

Results:  One hundred and sixty pregnant women finished the study. One hundred and forty-eight (92.5%) of the women delivered preterm. Mean serum urocortin in the preterm delivery group was higher than in the term group, but without statistical significant difference (392.6 ± 29.23 vs 113.2 ± 11.0. pg/mL, respectively, P = 0.252). Area under the ROC curve was 0.6, which shows that this test is not appropriate for predicting preterm delivery in women with preterm labor.

Conclusion:  Serum urocortin could not predict women who delivered preterm among women with signs of preterm labor.