Objective Here, we investigated whether cytokines in the cervicovaginal fluid (CVF) can be predictive markers of preterm birth (PTB). Methods A multi-center prospective cohort study was conducted on 59 singleton pregnant women hospitalized for preterm labor (PTL) and/or preterm premature rupture of membranes (pPROM) between 22 weeks and 36 weeks 6 days of gestation from 2014 to 2015. The levels of 13 inflammatory cytokines (macrophage inflammatory protein [MIP]-1α, MIP-1β, tumor necrosis factor [TNF]-α, interleukin [IL]-1β, IL-6, IL-8, IL-17α, granulocyte colony stimulating factor [G-CSF], IL-7, IL-4, IL-5, IL-10, and IL-13) were measured using a multiplex bead-based immunoassay and that of fetal fibronectin (fFN) was measured using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Statistical analyses were performed using Student's t-test, Mann-Whitney U test, Pearson's correlation, and receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis in SPSS version 20.0. Results Among the 13 cytokines assessed, the levels of 3 cytokines (MIP-1α, IL-6, and IL-7) were negatively correlated with gestational age at delivery (P=0.028, P=0.002, and P=0.018, respectively). Sensitivities of MIP-1α, IL-6, and IL-17α were 70%, 80%, and 75%, respectively, and their specificities were 57%, 65%, and 69%, respectively. The sensitivity and specificity of fFN were 33% and 95%, respectively. Conclusion In symptomatic women diagnosed with PTL and/or pPROM, cytokines from cervicovaginal fluid, especially IL-6 and IL-17α, could be better predictive markers of PTB than fFN.
- Preterm birth