Better Estimation of Spontaneous Preterm Birth Prediction Performance through Improved Gestational Age Dating

Julja Burchard, George R. Saade, Kim A. Boggess, Glenn R. Markenson, Jay D. Iams, Dean V. Coonrod, Leonardo M. Pereira, Matthew K. Hoffman, Ashoka D. Polpitiya, Ryan Treacy, Angela C. Fox, Todd L. Randolph, Tracey C. Fleischer, Max T. Dufford, Thomas J. Garite, Gregory C. Critchfield, J. Jay Boniface, Paul E. Kearney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The clinical management of pregnancy and spontaneous preterm birth (sPTB) relies on estimates of gestational age (GA). Our objective was to evaluate the effect of GA dating uncertainty on the observed performance of a validated proteomic biomarker risk predictor, and then to test the generalizability of that effect in a broader range of GA at blood draw. In a secondary analysis of a prospective clinical trial (PAPR; NCT01371019), we compared two GA dating categories: both ultrasound and dating by last menstrual period (LMP) (all subjects) and excluding dating by LMP (excluding LMP). The risk predictor’s performance was observed at the validated risk predictor threshold both in weeks 191/7–206/7 and extended to weeks 180/7–206/7. Strict blinding and independent statistical analyses were employed. The validated biomarker risk predictor showed greater observed sensitivity of 88% at 75% specificity (increases of 17% and 1%) in more reliably dated (excluding-LMP) subjects, relative to all subjects. Excluding dating by LMP significantly improved the sensitivity in weeks 191/7–206/7. In the broader blood draw window, the previously validated risk predictor threshold significantly stratified higher and lower risk of sPTB, and the risk predictor again showed significantly greater observed sensitivity in excluding-LMP subjects. These findings have implications for testing the performance of models aimed at predicting PTB.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2885
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 1 2022


  • gestational age
  • gestational age dating
  • preterm birth
  • proteomic biomarker risk predictor
  • spontaneous preterm birth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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