, Volume 285, Issue 2, pp 417-422
Date: 07 Jul 2011

Serum PLGF as a potential biomarker for predicting the onset of preeclampsia

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Preeclampsia is one of the leading causes of maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality. Till date despite years of research into the condition, predicting the onset of preeclampsia remains a problem. Placental growth factor is one of the many angiogenic factors, which shows significant altered levels in preeclampsia compared to normal pregnancy. The present study aims to analyze whether estimation of serum PLGF levels in late second trimester can act as a predictor of preeclampsia.


A total of 150 nulliparous pregnant women admitted in antenatal wards or attending antenatal clinic were included in the study. They were divided into three groups: 30 women being normotensive and 60 each with diagnosed mild and severe preeclampsia, respectively. Serum samples collected from the study groups were subjected to ELISA, and serum PLGF level was calculated in all the samples.


Mean serum PLGF levels were found to be significantly low in mild and severe preeclampsia as compared to normal pregnancy. Serum PLGF levels were highest at 26–28 weeks and were lowered at 28–30 and 30–32 weeks of gestation within each of the three study groups. Cutoff value of serum PLGF levels for predicting mild and severe preeclampsia was calculated statistically from the analyzed data.


Estimation of serum PLGF levels at 26 weeks of gestation in nulliparous pregnant women can be used as a screening test to identify women at risk for the development of preeclampsia with very high sensitivity.