Decreased first trimester PAPP-A is a predictor of adverse pregnancy outcome

Yuval Yaron, Sigal Heifetz, Yifat Ochshorn, Ofer Lehavi, Avi Orr-Urtreger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Low levels of maternal serum pregnancy associated plasma protein-A (PAPP-A) have been linked to chromosome anomalies such as trisomy 21, 13 and 18, triploidy and sex chromosome aneuploidy. Low levels of PAPP-A have also been implicated in spontaneous miscarriage. The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether low levels of first trimester PAPP-A are predictive of other adverse pregnancy outcomes. Study design: The study included patients with singleton pregnancies who underwent combined first trimester screening using nuchal translucency (NT) and maternal serum free β-human chorionic gonadotrophin (free β-hCG) and PAPP-A at 10-13 weeks' gestation. Patients with chromosome aberrations or fetal anomalies were excluded. Serum marker levels were expressed as gestational age-specific multiples of the median (MoMs). The incidences of various adverse pregnancy outcomes (spontaneous preterm labor, fetal growth restriction (FGR), proteinuric and non-proteinuric pregnancy induced hypertension (PIH), intrauterine fetal demise, oligohydramnios, spontaneous miscarriage and placental abruption) were evaluated, according to maternal PAPP-A MoM levels. Results: Of the 1622 patients in the study, pregnancy complications were observed in 184 (11.3%). Patients with PAPP-A ≤0.25 MoM had significantly higher rates of FGR (RR = 3.12), proteinuric PIH (RR = 6.09), spontaneous miscarriage (RR = 8.76). No statistically significant differences were noted for other adverse outcomes evaluated Women with PAPP-A ≤0.50 MoM also had significantly higher rates of FGR (RR = 3.30) and spontaneous miscarriage (RR = 3.78). Conclusions: We conclude that decreased levels of first trimester maternal serum PAPP-A are predictive not only of chromosome anomalies but also of adverse pregnancy outcome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)778-782
Number of pages5
JournalPrenatal Diagnosis
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2002


  • Chromosome aberration
  • Down syndrome screening
  • First trimester screening
  • Free β-human chorionic gonadotropin (free β-hCG)
  • Nuchal translucency (NT)
  • Pregnancy associated plasma protein A (PAPP-A)
  • Pregnancy complications


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