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Premature birth test being trialed

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Health Desk-- 10th June, 2018: Scientists are trialing a blood test that may predict whether a pregnant woman will give birth prematurely.

Preliminary results, published in the journal Science, suggest it is accurate in up to 80% of high-risk women.

The team, at Stanford University, in the US, say it is also as accurate as ultra-sound scans at predicting due dates.

However, there is still far more work to do before it could be used clinically.

The test measures the activity of genetic material, called RNA, coming from the foetus, placenta and mother that ends up in the bloodstream.

The researchers started by taking blood samples from pregnant women every week to see how levels of different RNAs changed during pregnancy and which could be used to predict gestational age or a premature birth.

Courtesy: BBC Health