Complications during pregnancy: can they be predicted with a blood test?

The possibilities complications during pregnancy are often a source of stress for expectant mothers. Gestational Diabetes, pre-eclamspie… They can have serious consequences for the health of the mother and that of the fetus and often arrive by surprise. Researchers at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) have conducted work to find out whether it is possible to detect risks in order to prevent them. In their study, published by the journal Epigenetics, they say they are on the trail of a blood test that would detect them … before they declare themselves.

DNA from the placenta would indicate the risk of complications

The researchers followed pregnant women between February 2017 and January 2019. They noticed that the specific DNA of the placenta was modified upstream, during the first trimester or during the second in expectant mothers who later developed gestational diabetes, reports a UCLA communiqué. They also identified several genes that expressed themselves differently, becoming the first to link genetic material to the development of complications during pregnancy.

A blood test to predict complications?

From the data collected, the scientists established a model to predict pregnancy complications by analyzing placental DNA by taking a simple blood test. “The novelty of this research is being able to break down a mother’s DNA and focus on the health of the placenta – something that researchers have never been able to do before.”, explains Dr Sherin Devaskar.

By carrying out a larger study, the team of researchers hope they can confirm the results and create a blood test to predict the risk of complications.This research justifies the application of automated methodologies in multicenter trials to improve future testing and screening for all women “, believes the scientist.

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