Purpose: To investigate whether complement and other immune-related proteins in cervicovaginal fluid (CVF) can predict intra-amniotic infection and/or inflammation (IAI) and spontaneous preterm delivery (SPTD, < 34.0 weeks) in women with preterm labor (PTL) and to compare the predictive abilities of these biomarkers with that of amniotic fluid (AF) white blood cells (WBCs). Methods: We designed a retrospective cohort study of 145 women with PTL at 23.0–33.6 weeks who underwent amniocentesis. AF was cultured and assayed for WBC count and interleukin-6 (IL-6). CVF samples were obtained at the time of amniocentesis. CVF was assayed for complement C3a and C5a, IGFBP-1, and MMP-9 by ELISA. Results: In the multivariate analysis, elevated CVF levels of C5a and IGFBP-1 were significantly associated with IAI and SPTD at < 34 weeks, while those of C3a were associated with IAI, but not SPTD, even after adjusting for other baseline confounders. For C3a, C5a, and IGFBP-1 in the CVF, area under the curve (AUC) values were statistically similar to that of AF WBCs for detecting IAI, whereas these CVF biomarkers had similar or higher AUC values than AF WBCs for predicting SPTD at < 34 weeks. However, univariate analysis showed no significant correlation between high CVF MMP-9 and IAI or SPTD at < 34 weeks. Conclusions: In women with PTL, the CVF levels of C3a, C5a, and IGFBP-1 may be useful as novel non-invasive predictors of IAI and SPTD at < 34 weeks. These biomarkers (especially IGFBP-1) have similar or better diagnostic performance compared to AF WBCs.
- cervicovaginal fluid
- Immune-related proteins
- Intra-amniotic infection/inflammation
- Preterm labor
- Spontaneous preterm delivery