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Clinical & developmental immunology

Interleukin-15 (IL-15) and anti-C1q antibodies as serum biomarkers for ectopic pregnancy and missed abortion.


PMID 23401701

Abstract

Given the present lack of clinically useful tests for the accurate diagnosis of ectopic pregnancy (EP), there is a need to select out those immunological factors measured in the maternal serum, as potential biomarkers. Our assumption was that C1q/anti-C1q antibody complexes and serum levels of interleukin-15 (IL-15) may play a role in differentiating abortions (MAs) and EPs and normal pregnancies. We assessed whether their measurement could set the diagnosis in a case control study at 6-8 weeks consisting of 60 women with failed early pregnancy (30 EPs, 30 MAs) and 33 women with intrauterine pregnancies. Normal pregnancies contain anti-C1q antibodies more frequently compared to women with failed pregnancies, the lowest levels being found in EPs, but this lacked statistical significance and anti-C1q could not serve as a marker. However EP pregnancies had elevated IL-15 levels that could statistically significantly differentiate them from MAs and IUPs. Furthermore, when assessing IL-15 for the clinically important differentiation between IUP and EP, we found at a cut-off of 16 pg/mL a negative predictive value of 99 with a sensitivity for diagnosing an EP of 92%. According to these results, serum IL-15 is a promising marker differentiating an MA from an EP.

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C1740 Complement component C1q from human serum, ≥95% (SDS-PAGE)