Background: Preterm delivery is a serious problem in obstetrics. A pre-existing inflammation in the first half of gestation has been proposed as a possible condition that leads to preterm delivery.
Aim: Our aim was to compare C-reactive protein (CRP), ferritin and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) concentrations in mid-trimester amniotic fluid of patients with preterm and term deliveries and to found out their predictive values for preterm delivery.
Methods: The study was conducted on 90 pregnant women who underwent genetic amniocentesis between the 15th and the 20th weeks of gestation. The samples were carried immediately to the laboratory for cytogenetic and biochemical examination. Non-parametric tests and receiver-operating characteristic curve analysis were used for statistical purpose.
Results: This study showed women with preterm delivery at < 37 weeks (n = 17) had a higher median of amniotic fluid LDH concentration than those women who delivered at term (n = 73) (P = 0.003). Amniotic fluid LDH concentration of > 120 IU/L had a sensitivity of 59% and a specificity of 81% in the prediction of spontaneous preterm delivery at < 37 weeks. Maternal serum alpha-fetoprotein levels were higher in patients delivered preterm compared with term deliveries (P = 0.036).
Conclusion: Mid-trimester LDH is found to be quite effective in the prediction of preterm delivery. Pre-existing intrauterine inflammatory process early in gestation may be an important risk factor for preterm delivery.