Objectives: To compare the utility of maternal serum human chorionic gonadotropin (MShCG) levels with that of uterine artery Doppler study in predicting small for gestational age (SGA) birth and pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH). Methods: MShCG assay and uterine artery Doppler study were performed in 359 consecutive pregnant women with singleton pregnancies. MShCG levels ≥2.0 multiples of the median at 15-18 weeks' gestation were considered to be elevated. An abnormal uterine artery Doppler velocimetry at 21-24 weeks' gestation was defined as a mean pulsatility index above the 95th percentile or the presence of an early diastolic notch in either uterine artery. The predictive values of MShCG levels and uterine artery Doppler velocimetry were evaluated for the risk of SGA birth and PIH. Results: Forty-one subjects gave birth to SGA infants, and 20 developed PIH. Patients with MShCG elevation or abnormal uterine artery Doppler velocimetry showed a significantly higher incidence of SGA infants than the controls. The sensitivity and specificity of MShCG elevation for SGA birth were 17.1 and 93.4%, respectively, compared with abnormal uterine artery Doppler velocimetry, which had 24.4 and 94.3%, respectively. There was no significant difference between these methods. Elevated levels of MShCG and abnormal uterine artery Doppler velocimetry were not associated with PIH. Conclusion: Elevated levels of second-trimester MShCG were as sensitive and specific in predicting SGA births as abnormal uterine artery Doppler velocimetry.
ASJC Scopus subject areas