Elevated second trimester maternal serum beta-HCG concentrations and subsequent adverse pregnancy outcome

Am J Med Genet. 1992 Nov 1;44(4):485-6. doi: 10.1002/ajmg.1320440420.


Previous studies have found an association between elevated second trimester maternal serum alpha-fetoprotein (MS-AFP), in the absence of fetal anomalies, and adverse pregnancy outcome. We studied the association between elevated second trimester maternal serum beta-HCG, now also routinely measured by prenatal screening programs, and adverse pregnancy outcome by reviewing retrospectively the pregnancy outcomes among women with markedly elevated midtrimester beta-HCG in our prenatal screening program. Seven (0.23%) of 3,000 consecutively screened women had a serum beta-HCG above 5 MOM. Four (57%) of these 7 women had an adverse pregnancy outcome including severe preeclampsia (n = 2), abruptio placentae (n = 1), or preterm labor (n = 1). A concurrently elevated MS-AFP was found in only one of these 4 patients. Elevated mid-trimester maternal serum beta-HCG may be an independent risk factor for subsequent adverse pregnancy outcomes.

MeSH terms

  • Chorionic Gonadotropin / blood*
  • Chorionic Gonadotropin, beta Subunit, Human
  • Female
  • HELLP Syndrome / blood
  • HELLP Syndrome / complications
  • Humans
  • Peptide Fragments / blood*
  • Pre-Eclampsia / blood
  • Pre-Eclampsia / complications
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome*
  • Pregnancy Trimester, Second
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Chorionic Gonadotropin
  • Chorionic Gonadotropin, beta Subunit, Human
  • Peptide Fragments