The impact of fetal fibronectin testing for women with symptoms of preterm labour in routine clinical practice within a New Zealand population
Article first published online: 30 AUG 2006
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Volume 46, Issue 5, pages 440–445, October 2006
How to Cite
GROOM, Katie. M., LIU, Emily. and ALLENBY, Keith. (2006), The impact of fetal fibronectin testing for women with symptoms of preterm labour in routine clinical practice within a New Zealand population. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 46: 440–445. doi: 10.1111/j.1479-828X.2006.00631.x
- Issue published online: 30 AUG 2006
- Article first published online: 30 AUG 2006
- Received 22 April 2006; accepted 20 June 2006.
- fetal fibronectin;
- preterm birth;
- preterm labour
Aims: To perform a comparative analysis of antenatal management received according to the results of cervico-vaginal fetal fibronectin (fFN) testing, and to review preterm delivery rates and fFN predictive values within a New Zealand population of women presenting with threatened preterm labour.
Methods: Case note review of all fFN tests performed at Middlemore Hospital, South Auckland from August 2003 to March 2005 (n = 199). Data collected included risk factors for preterm delivery, signs and symptoms at presentation, antenatal management received after fFN test and outcome and delivery details. Positive and negative fFN results were compared.
Results: Women with a positive fFN were more likely to receive antenatal corticosteroids (96.4 vs 4.7% RR 8.74 (95% CI 5.40–14.17)) and tocolysis (71.4 vs 2.4% RR 8.10 (95% CI 4.49–14.59)) and to be admitted antenatally (96.4 vs 54.4% RR 1.77 (95% CI 1.50–2.10)) with a higher mean cost of treatment ($NZ967.47 vs $NZ335.27 P < 0.05). Rates of delivery < 34 weeks were higher in those with a positive fFN (41.9 vs 0.7% RR 62.06 (95% CI 8.43–457.14)).
Conclusion: Women with a positive fFN result received different treatment to those with a negative fFN. Use of fFN test in routine clinical practice allows management and resources to be targeted more appropriately and may limit unnecessary interventions.