First-trimester maternal serum PP-13, PAPP-A and second-trimester uterine artery Doppler pulsatility index as markers of pre-eclampsia

K. Spencer, N. J. Cowans, I. Chefetz, J. Tal, H. Meiri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

176 Scopus citations


Objective: To evaluate whether measurement of maternal serum placental protein-13 (PP-13) and pregnancy-associated plasma protein-A (PAPP-A) at 11 + 0 to 13 + 6 weeks of gestation alone or in combination with second-trimester uterine artery pulsitility measured by Doppler velocimetry is useful in predicting those women who will develop pre-eclampsia Methods: This was a nested case-control study of pre-eclampsia cases with controls matched for gestational age and storage time for the maternal serum. Samples were collected as part of a first-trimester prenatal chromosomal anomaly screening program and were routinely tested for PAPP-A. PP-13 was tested using an enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) by an examiner who was blinded to pregnancy outcome. All patients also underwent uterine artery Doppler flow velocimetry to measure the mean pulsatility index (PI) at 22-24 weeks' gestation. Results: There were 446 controls and 44 cases with early pre-eclampsia where delivery was induced prior to 35 weeks. In addition there were a further 44 cases with pre-eclampsia in which delivery was not induced before term. Median PP-13 levels for controls, all cases and early pre-eclampsia cases were 176.9, 121.9 and 111.7 pg/mL, with multiples of the median (MoMs) of 1.00, 0.69 and 0.63, respectively (P < 0.001). PAPP-A MoMs were 1.00, 0.89 (P = 0.076) and 0.89 (P = 0.042) and mean PIs were 1.0, 1.6 (P < 0.001) and 1.7 (P < 0.001) for controls, all cases and early cases, respectively. Receiver-operating characteristics (ROC) curve analysis for either all cases or early cases vs. controls yielded areas under the curve for PP-13, PAPP-A and PI respectively of 0.68 (95% CI, 0.61-0.74; P < 0.001), 0.56 (95% CI, 0.49-0.63; P = 0.076) and 0.79 (95% CI, 0.72-0.87; P < 0.001) for all cases and 0.71 (95% CI, 0.63-0.79; P < 0.001), 0.59 (95% CI, 0.51-0.68; P = 0.076) and 0.86 (95% CI, 0.77-0.94; P < 0.001) for early cases. At a specificity set to 0.80 the sensitivities were 0.50, 0.23 and 0.76 for PP-13, PAPP-A and PI in the early cases and 0.44, 0.24 and 0.73 in all cases. Combining PP-13 and PI using logistic regression analysis yielded an area under the curve of 0.84 (95% CI, 0.78-0.90; P < 0.001) and a sensitivity of 0.74 in all cases, and 0.90 (95% CI, 0.84-0.96; P < 0.001) and a sensitivity of 0.79 for early cases. PAPP-A with PI gave an area under the curve of 0.82 (95% CI, 0.76-0.90; P < 0.001) and a sensitivity of 0.76 in all cases. Combining PAPP-A with PP-13 and PI did not add significantly to the sensitivity. Conclusion: First-trimester PP-13 levels may be useful in predicting pre-eclampsia and early pre-eclampsia, and the accuracy of the method increases when coupled with second-trimester Doppler PI measurement. First-trimester PAPP-A provides some prediction for pre-eclamspia when combined with PI but does not add to the prediction of early pre-eclampsia when PP-13 and PI are used together. Further studies are required to establish the real value of PP-13 in first-trimester screening for pre-eclampsia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)128-134
Number of pages7
JournalUltrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Hypertension
  • PAPP-A
  • PP-13
  • Pre-eclampsia
  • Pregnancy
  • Screening


Dive into the research topics of 'First-trimester maternal serum PP-13, PAPP-A and second-trimester uterine artery Doppler pulsatility index as markers of pre-eclampsia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this