Image: Labcorp

Labcorp has launched a new first trimester preeclampsia screening test, making it the only laboratory in the United States to offer preeclampsia risk detection across all pregnancy trimesters, according to the company. The test, designed to be performed between 11 and 14 weeks of gestation, determines the risk of developing preeclampsia before 34 weeks of pregnancy. This innovation is significant for all pregnant individuals, including those with low to average risk for preeclampsia and first-time pregnancies.

Preeclampsia is a high blood pressure disorder that can develop during pregnancy or postpartum, and it is a leading cause of maternal morbidity and mortality worldwide. In the United States, one in 25 pregnancies is affected by preeclampsia, with non-Hispanic Black women experiencing the condition at a 60% higher rate compared to white women.

Labcorp’s new test uses four key early pregnancy biomarkers to provide a comprehensive risk assessment with up to 90% sensitivity, nearly double the sensitivity of assessing typical maternal history or biophysical factors alone. The test results offer risk identification earlier than traditional symptoms, such as hypertension or protein in the urine, which tend to develop around 20 weeks of gestation.

The blood-based test measures two biochemical markers – placental growth factor (PlGF) and pregnancy-associated plasma protein-A (PAPP-A) – and two biophysical markers – mean arterial pressure (MAP) and uterine artery pulsatility index (UtAPI). Low levels of PlGF and PAPP-A indicate poor placental development and function, while high MAP and UtAPI levels indicate high blood pressure and elevated resistance to blood flow across the uterine artery.

Labcorp has a strong commitment to advancing maternal and fetal health through innovative diagnostic and screening solutions. Dr. Brian Caveney, Labcorp’s Chief Medical and Scientific Officer, highlighted the significance of this new test, stating, “By giving healthcare providers another tool to assess preeclampsia risk in their pregnant patients with objective biomarkers, we’re helping to advance prenatal care and improve outcomes for mothers and their babies.”

This first trimester test is based on data from two major studies. The SPREE study, which involved 16,700 women, showed that combining MAP, UtAPI, PlGF, and PAPP-A significantly improved screening performance compared to standard guidelines. The ASPRE trial validated these biomarkers’ use for screening preterm preeclampsia among over 25,000 pregnant women.

Labcorp’s introduction of this test is part of its broader commitment to advancing women’s health. The company supports millions of women through its digital health platform, Ovia Health by Labcorp, which offers tools and content, including a preeclampsia prevention and management program.

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