Objective: To determine whether the relationship between adverse pregnancy outcome and elevated maternal serum alpha-fetoprotein (MSAFP) and/or maternal serum hCG levels in women whose fetuses have no chromosomal abnormalities or neural tube defects is restricted to pregnancies with a priori elevated risk for pathology or also present in low-risk pregnancies. Methods: The outcomes of pregnancy in two groups of patients with elevated MSAFP and/or maternal serum hCG values were compared with the outcomes of a reference group with normal serum values. The first study group consisted of 83 women without pre-existing risk for poor outcome as defined by the guidelines of the Dutch Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology. The second study group consisted of 62 women with a priori elevated risk according to these guidelines. Results: Fetal or neonatal death, pregnancy-induced hypertension, placental abruption, placenta previa, preterm delivery, delivery of infants with birth weights in the 2.3rd percentile, and complications during the third stage of labor occurred significantly more often in patients with elevated values and low a priori risk than in women with normal values and without pre-existing risk factors. There was no significant increase in adverse pregnancy outcome in women with elevated values and high a priori risk compared with women with normal values and elevated a priori risk. Conclusion: In women at low risk, elevated MSAFP and/or maternal serum hCG values are predictive of adverse pregnancy outcome. In women with a priori elevated risk, abnormal serum values do not increase this risk.
Van Rijn, M., Van Der Schouw, Y. T., Hagenaars, A. M., Visser, G. H. A., & Christiaens, G. C. M. L. (1999). Adverse obstetric outcome in low- and high-risk pregnancies: Predictive value of maternal serum screening. Obstetrics and Gynecology, 94(6), 929–934. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0029-7844(99)00467-6