Performance of first-trimester combined screening for preterm pre-eclampsia: findings from cohort of 10 110 pregnancies in Spain.

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Ultrasound in Obstetrics & Gynecology
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Objective To evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of the Fetal Medicine Foundation (FMF) competing-risks model, incorporating maternal characteristics, mean arterial pressure (MAP), uterine artery pulsatility index (UtA-PI) and placental growth factor (PlGF) (the ‘triple test’), for the prediction at 11–13 weeks' gestation of preterm pre-eclampsia (PE) in a Spanish population. Methods This was a prospective cohort study performed in eight fetal medicine units in five different regions of Spain between September 2017 and December 2019. All pregnant women with a singleton pregnancy and a non-malformed live fetus attending a routine ultrasound examination at 11 + 0 to 13 + 6 weeks' gestation were invited to participate. Maternal demographic characteristics and medical history were recorded and MAP, UtA-PI, serum PlGF and pregnancy-associated plasma protein-A (PAPP-A) were measured following standardized protocols. Treatment with aspirin during pregnancy was also recorded. Raw values of biomarkers were converted into multiples of the median (MoM), and audits were performed periodically to provide regular feedback to operators and laboratories. Patient-specific risks for term and preterm PE were calculated according to the FMF competing-risks model, blinded to pregnancy outcome. The performance of screening for PE, taking into account aspirin use, was assessed by calculating the area under the receiver-operating-characteristics curve (AUC) and detection rate (DR) at a 10% fixed screen-positive rate (SPR). Risk calibration of the model was assessed. Results The study population comprised 10 110 singleton pregnancies, including 72 (0.7%) that developed preterm PE. In the preterm PE group, compared to those without PE, median MAP MoM and UtA-PI MoM were significantly higher, and median serum PlGF MoM and PAPP-A MoM were significantly lower. In women with PE, the deviation from normal in all biomarkers was inversely related to gestational age at delivery. Screening for preterm PE by a combination of maternal characteristics and medical history with MAP, UtA-PI and PlGF had a DR, at 10% SPR, of 72.7% (95% CI, 62.9–82.6%). An alternative strategy of replacing PlGF with PAPP-A in the triple test was associated with poorer screening performance for preterm PE, giving a DR of 66.5% (95% CI, 55.8–77.2%). The calibration plot showed good agreement between predicted risk and observed incidence of preterm PE, with a slope of 0.983 (95% CI, 0.846–1.120) and an intercept of 0.154 (95% CI, −0.091 to 0.397). Conclusions The FMF model is effective in predicting preterm PE in the Spanish population at 11–13 weeks' gestation. This method of screening is feasible to implement in routine clinical practice, but it should be accompanied by a robust audit and monitoring system, in order to maintain high-quality screening.

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