Objective: The objective of this pilot study was to evaluate the clinical utility of soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase 1 (sFlt 1) and soluble endoglin (sEng) in the differential diagnosis of hypertension in late pregnancy.
Study design: We analyzed serum levels of sFlt 1 and sEng in women with gestational hypertension (GHTN; n = 17), chronic hypertension (CHTN; n = 19), preeclampsia (n = 19), and normal pregnancy (n = 20) in the third trimester. We calculated the sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative likelihood ratio (LR) for each factor in diagnosing preeclampsia.
Results: The sensitivity and specificity of sFlt 1 in differentiating preeclampsia from normal pregnancy were 90% and 90%, respectively, and 90% and 95% for sEng. In women with GHTN, they were 79% and 88% for sFlt 1; 84% and 88% for sEng; 90% and 63% for uric acid. In women with CHTN, they were 84% and 95% for sFlt 1; 84% and 79% for sEng; 68%; and 78% for uric acid. The positive LR for preeclampsia was 9 for sFlt 1 and 7 for sEng in women with normal pregnancy; in women with GHTN; 6.7 for sFlt 1 and 7.2 for sEng; in CHTN, 16 for sFlt 1 and 4 for sEng. Serum uric acid had a positive LR of only 2.4 in women with GHTN and 3.1 in women with CHTN.
Conclusion: Both sFlt 1 and sEng may prove useful in differentiating preeclampsia from other hypertensive diseases of pregnancy. A prospective cohort study should be performed determine the clinical utility of measuring these proteins.