Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

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