CX3CL1/Fractalkine as a biomarker for early pregnancy prediction of preterm premature rupture of membranes

Clin Chem Lab Med. 2024 Jan 26. doi: 10.1515/cclm-2023-1202. Online ahead of print.


Objectives: The objective of our study was to evaluate serum CX3CL1/Fractalkine, a monocyte/macrophage chemoattractant expressed in cytotrophoblasts and decidual cells, as a predictive biomarker for the occurrence of preterm premature rupture of membranes (PPROM).

Methods: A case-control study of 438 pregnancies including 82 PPROM cases and 64 preterm labor with intact membranes cases with blood samples collected at first trimester, second trimester and delivery was conducted. The predictive ability of CX3CL1 and maternal risk factors for the occurrence of PPROM was assessed by receiver operating characteristic curve analysis. A second, independent cohort was prospectively constituted to confirm the case-control study results.

Results: First trimester CX3CL1 was significantly increased in PPROM cases when compared to matched controls. Multivariate regression analysis highlighted a significant difference for CX3CL1 measured during the first trimester (p<0.001). Alone, CX3CL1 predicts PPROM with a 90 % sensitivity and a specificity around 40 %. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve for PPROM prediction were 0.64 (95% confidence interval: 0.57-0.71) for first trimester CX3CL1, and 0.61 (95% confidence interval: 0.54-0.68) for maternal risk factors (body mass index<18.5 kg/m2, nulliparity, tobacco use and the absence of high school diploma). The combination of CX3CL1 and maternal risk factors significantly improved the area under the curve: 0.72 (95% confidence interval: 0.66-0.79) (p<0.001). The results were confirmed on a second independent cohort.

Conclusions: CX3CL1 is a promising blood biomarker in the early (first trimester) prediction of PPROM.

Keywords: CX3CL1; PPROM; fractalkine; inflammation; prediction; pregnancy.