The evaluation and development of novel diagnostic methods to understand and prevent placentally-related complications of human pregnancy  


  • Prof Gordon Smith

    University of Cambridge

  • Prof Stephen Charnock-Jones

    University of Cambridge

Project summary

Identifying women who have a high risk of pregnancy complications is problematic and current methods are relatively crude and inaccurate. 

We have developed a test which identifies women at high risk of complications at about eight months of pregnancy. We will conduct a trial to see whether this test works and to see whether we can improve the outcome by inducing labour early. We have identified new blood tests that might enhance prediction of risk and we want to collect more blood samples to reinforce our findings. We also want to evaluate a new method that looks at whether chemical modifications to the DNA in the placenta can be seen in maternal blood. 

The reason for doing more studies to identify new predictors is that we want to develop tests to predict a larger proportion of complications earlier in pregnancy.