Skip to content

    Health & Pregnancy

    Font Size

    Immune Marker May Offer Miscarriage Clue

    Low Levels During Pregnancy May Reveal Miscarriage Risk
    WebMD Health News

    Jan. 8, 2004 -- Low levels of a protein involved in the immune system during early pregnancy may serve as an indicator of miscarriage risk.

    A new study shows that women who miscarried had levels of the protein that were only one-third of the levels found among similar women who had successful pregnancies.

    Researchers say as many as 10-15% of pregnancies end in miscarriage. Many of these are the result of genetic abnormalities in the fetus, but a large proportion are unexplained and may be related to the maternal immune system rejecting the fetus.

    Potential Marker for Miscarriage Risk

    In the study, which appears in the Jan. 10 issue of The Lancet, researchers measured the levels of an immune protein known as MIC 1 in women at six to 13 weeks gestation.

    Researchers found that the average level of the protein in 100 women who later miscarried were one-third of the average levels found in 200 similarly matched women who went on to have successful pregnancies.

    The study also showed that the levels were just as low three weeks before miscarriage as they were on the day the miscarriage was diagnosed.

    Researchers say the fact that levels were unusually low weeks before miscarriage occurred suggests that the protein may help predict which women are at risk for miscarriage and allow doctors to develop interventions to prevent pregnancy loss.

    Pregnancy Week-By-Week Newsletter

    Delivered right to your inbox, get pictures and facts on
    what to expect each week of your pregnancy.

    Today on WebMD

    hand circling date on calendar
    Track your most fertile days.
    woman looking at ultrasound
    Week-by-week pregnancy guide.
    Pretty pregnant woman timing contaction pains
    The signs to watch out for.
    pregnant woman in hospital
    Are there ways to do it naturally?
    slideshow fetal development
    pregnancy first trimester warning signs
    What Causes Bipolar
    Woman trying on dress in store
    pregnant woman
    Woman looking at pregnancy test
    calendar and baby buggy
    dark chocolate squares