First-trimester metabolomic detection of late-onset preeclampsia

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2013 Jan;208(1):58.e1-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2012.11.003. Epub 2012 Nov 13.


Objective: We sought to identify first-trimester maternal serum biomarkers for the prediction of late-onset preeclampsia (PE) using metabolomic analysis.

Study design: In a case-control study, nuclear magnetic resonance-based metabolomic analysis was performed on first-trimester maternal serum between 11(+0)-13(+6) weeks of gestation. There were 30 cases of late-onset PE, i.e., requiring delivery ≥37 weeks, and 59 unaffected controls. The concentrations of 40 metabolites were compared between the 2 groups. We also compared 30 early-onset cases to the late-onset group.

Results: A total of 14 metabolites were significantly elevated and 3 significantly reduced in first-trimester serum of late-onset PE patients. A complex model consisting of multiple metabolites and maternal demographic characteristics had a 76.6% sensitivity at 100% specificity for PE detection. A simplified model using fewer predictors yielded 60% sensitivity at 96.6% specificity. Strong separation of late- vs early-onset PE groups was achieved.

Conclusion: Significant differences in the first-trimester metabolites were noted in women who went on to developed late-onset PE and between early- and late-onset PE.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Metabolomics
  • Pre-Eclampsia / blood
  • Pre-Eclampsia / diagnosis*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Trimester, First / blood*
  • Prospective Studies


  • Biomarkers