Development and validation of a spontaneous preterm delivery predictor in asymptomatic women

George R. Saade, Kim A. Boggess, Scott A. Sullivan, Glenn R. Markenson, Jay D. Iams, Dean V. Coonrod, Leonardo M. Pereira, M. Sean Esplin, Larry M. Cousins, Garrett K. Lam, Matthew K. Hoffman, Robert D. Severinsen, Trina Pugmire, Jeff S. Flick, Angela C. Fox, Amir J. Lueth, Sharon R. Rust, Emanuele Mazzola, Chienting Hsu, Max T. DuffordChad L. Bradford, Ilia E. Ichetovkin, Tracey C. Fleischer, Ashoka D. Polpitiya, Gregory C. Critchfield, Paul E. Kearney, J. Jay Boniface, Durlin E. Hickok

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    37 Scopus citations


    Background Preterm delivery remains the leading cause of perinatal mortality. Risk factors and biomarkers have traditionally failed to identify the majority of preterm deliveries. Objective To develop and validate a mass spectrometry-based serum test to predict spontaneous preterm delivery in asymptomatic pregnant women. Study Design A total of 5501 pregnant women were enrolled between 170/7 and 286/7 weeks gestational age in the prospective Proteomic Assessment of Preterm Risk study at 11 sites in the United States between 2011 and 2013. Maternal blood was collected at enrollment and outcomes collected following delivery. Maternal serum was processed by a proteomic workflow, and proteins were quantified by multiple reaction monitoring mass spectrometry. The discovery and verification process identified 2 serum proteins, insulin-like growth factor-binding protein 4 (IBP4) and sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), as predictors of spontaneous preterm delivery. We evaluated a predictor using the log ratio of the measures of IBP4 and SHBG (IBP4/SHBG) in a clinical validation study to classify spontaneous preterm delivery cases (<370/7 weeks gestational age) in a nested case-control cohort different from subjects used in discovery and verification. Strict blinding and independent statistical analyses were employed. Results The predictor had an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve value of 0.75 and sensitivity and specificity of 0.75 and 0.74, respectively. The IBP4/SHBG predictor at this sensitivity and specificity had an odds ratio of 5.04 for spontaneous preterm delivery. Accuracy of the IBP4/SHBG predictor increased using earlier case-vs-control gestational age cutoffs (eg, <350/7 vs ≥350/7 weeks gestational age). Importantly, higher-risk subjects defined by the IBP4/SHBG predictor score generally gave birth earlier than lower-risk subjects. Conclusion A serum-based molecular predictor identifies asymptomatic pregnant women at risk of spontaneous preterm delivery, which may provide utility in identifying women at risk at an early stage of pregnancy to allow for clinical intervention. This early detection would guide enhanced levels of care and accelerate development of clinical strategies to prevent preterm delivery.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)633.e1-633.e24
    JournalAmerican journal of obstetrics and gynecology
    Issue number5
    StatePublished - May 1 2016


    • IBP4
    • IGFBP4
    • SHBG
    • biomarker
    • pregnancy
    • preterm birth
    • proteomics

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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