The amniotic fluid proteome predicts imminent preterm delivery in asymptomatic women with a short cervix

Dereje W. Gudicha, Roberto Romero, Nardhy Gomez-Lopez, Jose Galaz, Gaurav Bhatti, Bogdan Done, Eunjung Jung, Dahiana M. Gallo, Mariachiara Bosco, Manaphat Suksai, Ramiro Diaz-Primera, Piya Chaemsaithong, Francesca Gotsch, Stanley M. Berry, Tinnakorn Chaiworapongsa, Adi L. Tarca

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Preterm birth, the leading cause of perinatal morbidity and mortality, is associated with increased risk of short- and long-term adverse outcomes. For women identified as at risk for preterm birth attributable to a sonographic short cervix, the determination of imminent delivery is crucial for patient management. The current study aimed to identify amniotic fluid (AF) proteins that could predict imminent delivery in asymptomatic patients with a short cervix. This retrospective cohort study included women enrolled between May 2002 and September 2015 who were diagnosed with a sonographic short cervix (< 25 mm) at 16–32 weeks of gestation. Amniocenteses were performed to exclude intra-amniotic infection; none of the women included had clinical signs of infection or labor at the time of amniocentesis. An aptamer-based multiplex platform was used to profile 1310 AF proteins, and the differential protein abundance between women who delivered within two weeks from amniocentesis, and those who did not, was determined. The analysis included adjustment for quantitative cervical length and control of the false-positive rate at 10%. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve was calculated to determine whether protein abundance in combination with cervical length improved the prediction of imminent preterm delivery as compared to cervical length alone. Of the 1,310 proteins profiled in AF, 17 were differentially abundant in women destined to deliver within two weeks of amniocentesis independently of the cervical length (adjusted p-value < 0.10). The decreased abundance of SNAP25 and the increased abundance of GPI, PTPN11, OLR1, ENO1, GAPDH, CHI3L1, RETN, CSF3, LCN2, CXCL1, CXCL8, PGLYRP1, LDHB, IL6, MMP8, and PRTN3 were associated with an increased risk of imminent delivery (odds ratio > 1.5 for each). The sensitivity at a 10% false-positive rate for the prediction of imminent delivery by a quantitative cervical length alone was 38%, yet it increased to 79% when combined with the abundance of four AF proteins (CXCL8, SNAP25, PTPN11, and MMP8). Neutrophil-mediated immunity, neutrophil activation, granulocyte activation, myeloid leukocyte activation, and myeloid leukocyte-mediated immunity were biological processes impacted by protein dysregulation in women destined to deliver within two weeks of diagnosis. The combination of AF protein abundance and quantitative cervical length improves prediction of the timing of delivery compared to cervical length alone, among women with a sonographic short cervix.

Original languageEnglish
Article number11781
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022


Dive into the research topics of 'The amniotic fluid proteome predicts imminent preterm delivery in asymptomatic women with a short cervix'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this