Early Detection of Preeclampsia Using Circulating Small non-coding RNA

Sci Rep. 2018 Feb 21;8(1):3401. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-21604-6.


Preeclampsia is one of the most dangerous pregnancy complications, and the leading cause of maternal and perinatal mortality and morbidity. Although the clinical symptoms appear late, its origin is early, and hence detection is feasible already at the first trimester. In the current study, we investigated the abundance of circulating small non-coding RNAs in the plasma of pregnant women in their first trimester, seeking transcripts that best separate the preeclampsia samples from those of healthy pregnant women. To this end, we performed small non-coding RNAs sequencing of 75 preeclampsia and control samples, and identified 25 transcripts that were differentially expressed between preeclampsia and the control groups. Furthermore, we utilized those transcripts and created a pipeline for a supervised classification of preeclampsia. Our pipeline generates a logistic regression model using a 5-fold cross validation on numerous random partitions into training and blind test sets. Using this classification procedure, we achieved an average AUC value of 0.86. These findings suggest the predictive value of circulating small non-coding RNA in the first trimester, warranting further examination, and lay the foundation for producing a novel early non-invasive diagnostic tool for preeclampsia, which could reduce the life-threatening risk for both the mother and fetus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Early Diagnosis
  • Female
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Pre-Eclampsia / blood*
  • Pre-Eclampsia / diagnosis*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Pregnancy Trimester, First / blood
  • Pregnancy Trimester, Second / blood
  • Prospective Studies
  • RNA, Small Untranslated / blood*
  • Risk Factors


  • Biomarkers
  • RNA, Small Untranslated