A study of the relationship between placenta growth factor and gestational age, parturition, rupture of membranes, and intrauterine infection Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Objective: Placenta growth factor is a potent angiogenic factor produced by the human placenta that has been implicated in the pathogenesis of preeclampsia and intrauterine growth restriction. Placenta growth factor belongs to the vascular endothelial growth factor family and is capable of inducing proliferation, migration, and activation of endothelial cells. The objective of this study was to determine the relationship between amniotic fluid concentration of placenta growth factor and gestational age, parturition (term and preterm), spontaneous rupture of the membranes, and intra-amniotic infection. Study Design: Amniotic fluid samples obtained from 273 pregnant patients were assayed in the following clinical groups: midtrimester pregnancy, preterm labor who delivered at term, preterm labor without microbial invasion of the amniotic cavity who delivered preterm, preterm labor with microbial invasion of the amniotic cavity, term not in labor, term in labor, term with microbial invasion of the amniotic cavity, preterm premature rupture of membranes with and without microbial invasion of the amniotic cavity, and term with premature rupture of membranes without microbial invasion of the amniotic cavity. The placenta growth factor concentrations were determined by an immunoassay that is both sensitive and specific. Results: Placenta growth factor was detectable in 96.3% (263/273) of samples. Amniotic fluid placenta growth factor concentration decreased with advancing gestational age (r = –0.42; P <.001). Amniotic fluid placenta growth factor concentrations were significantly higher in women in midtrimester pregnancy than in those at term not in labor (midtrimester pregnancy: median, 43.1 pg/mL; range, 22.9-69.8 pg/mL; vs term not in labor: median, 28.7 pg/mL; range, 16.1-82.7 pg/mL; P <.01). Neither term nor preterm parturition was associated with a change in amniotic fluid placenta growth factor concentrations. Term premature rupture of membranes was associated with a significant decrease in amniotic fluid placenta growth factor concentration (term premature rupture of membranes: median, 16.5 pg/mL; range <5.2-195.1 pg/mL; vs term intact membranes: median, 28.7 pg/mL; range, 16.1-822.7 pg/mL; P <.005). Preterm premature rupture of membranes was not associated with changes in amniotic fluid placenta growth factor concentrations. Intra-amniotic infection in preterm labor, term labor with intact membranes, and preterm premature rupture of membranes were not associated with changes in amniotic fluid placenta growth factor concentrations. Conclusion: Placenta growth factor is a physiologic constituent of amniotic fluid. Amniotic fluid concentrations of placenta growth factor decrease with advancing gestational age. Neither parturition nor infection affects amniotic fluid placenta growth factor concentrations. (Am J Obstet Gynecol 2000;182:1633-7.)

publication date

  • January 1, 2000