Purpose: To study the role of the TTR-RBP4-ROH complex components (transthyretin, serum retinol binding protein, retinol) and of angiogenic factors PlGF (placental growth factor) and sFlt-1 (soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase-1) in pregnancies complicated by small for gestational age infants (SGA).
Methods: Case control study conducted on maternal serum collected between 11 + 0 to 13 + 6 weeks of gestation. TTR, RBP4, ROH, PlGF and sFlt-1 were measured in SGA patients (birth weight <10%) who delivered at term (n = 37) and before 37 weeks of gestation (n = 17) and in a matched control group with uneventful pregnancies (n = 37).
Results: We found decreased RBP4 in SGA patients that delivered fetuses <3% and in fetuses delivered after the 37 weeks of gestation compared to controls [1.50 (95% CI 1.40-1.75) vs 1.62 (95% CI 1.47-1.98), p < 0.05]. Further, we found lower PlGF and sFlt-1 concentrations in SGA that delivered before 37 weeks of gestation compared to controls (respectively, PIGF and sFlt-1: 39.7 pg/ml (95% CI 32.3-66.3) vs 62.9 pg/ml (95% CI 45.2-78.4) and 906 pg/ml (95% CI 727-1626) vs 1610 pg/ml (95% CI 1088-212), p < 0.05).
Conclusions: First trimester maternal serum RBP4 and angiogenic factors PlGF and sFlt-1 can differently predict the timing of delivery of pregnancies complicated by SGA fetuses.
Keywords: First trimester; Low birth weight; Marker; PlGF; Pregnancy; RBP4; Retinol; Small for gestational age; TTR; Vitamin A; sFlt-1.