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Innovative blood test can be used as a predictive tool for preeclampsia

7 January 2016  •  Author: Nicholas Jackson

The New England Journal of Medicine has published the results of PROGNOSIS, a groundbreaking clinical study run by Roche which demonstrated the prognostic value of the company’s Elecsys sFlt-1/PlGF immunoassay ratio test in predicting which pregnant women are at highest risk of developing preeclampsia, one of the leading causes of death and complications for mothers and their unborn babies.

Innovative blood test can be used as a predictive tool for preeclampsia

“The emotional benefits of the test are very important: preeclampsia can develop quickly and symptoms can develop even in women who so far have had a healthy pregnancy,” said Professor Harald Zeisler of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Medical University Vienna, Austria, and an investigator in the PROGNOSIS study. “If we can tell a patient with signs or symptoms that she has a low sFlt-1/PlGF value, and therefore a low risk of developing preeclampsia within short term, that’s a big advantage. On the other hand, women with high sFlt-1/PlGF values can be referred to hospitals with neonatal and adult intensive care units, where they can receive the specialist care they need.”

As well as potentially saving lives, the more accurate diagnosis of preeclampsia may also have positive economic impacts on healthcare systems. In 2005, the average cost of preeclampsia, excluding normal delivery costs, was an estimated GBP 9,009 per pregnancy. With an estimated 8.5 million women affected by preeclampsia every year, the annual cost of preeclampsia worldwide is estimated to be GBP 76.6 billion (based on the 2005 estimate), representing a major financial burden. Clinical use of the sFlt-1/PlGF ratio to predict and diagnose preeclampsia could help reduce the associated health care costs, by cutting both inappropriate discharges and unnecessary hospitalizations. Routine use of the Roche preeclampsia test could reduce by 50% the number of women hospitalized prior to preeclampsia diagnosis, leading to a cost savings of approximately 400GBP per patient.

“The PROGNOSIS study is the first to demonstrate that the Elecsys sFlt-1/PlGF immunoassay ratio can reliably rule out preeclampsia for one week,” said Roland Diggelmann, Chief Operating Officer, Roche Diagnostics. “We’re delighted to see the results published in such a world-renowned journal as the New England Journal of Medicine, and confident the findings will have a positive impact on the prediction and clinical management of this serious medical condition. They also support our vision to bring medical value to patients, which will enable proactive disease management and better patient care.”

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