Recently we demonstrated a close correlation between the gestational age (GA) and steroid metabolome in maternal and fetal body fluids using multivariate models including both unconjugated (n=39) and conjugated steroids (n=30) that were measured by GC-MS method including two separate multicomponent analyses (for unconjugated steroids and steroid polar conjugates). We focused on the comparison of the predictive value of the levels of unconjugated steroids alone, conjugated steroids alone and conjugated and unconjugated steroids together in maternal blood (as obtaining a maternal blood is the least invasive procedure). The trial was approved by the Ethics Commitee of the Institute of Endocrinology, Pague, Cech Republic. In the study participated 12 women (giving an uncomplicated birth after the 38th week of gestation) and 38 women with preterm labors (28th37th week). The predictive value of the free steroids alone (75.2% of variability in GA is explained by the unconjugated steroids) was slightly better than that for the steroid polar conjugates alone (74.3% of the variability). The results for unconjugated and conjugated steroids together showed 81.0% of the variability. These data demonstrate that analysis of both unconjugated and conjugated steroids can be replaced by less laborious analysis of the unconjugated steroids only. Free steroids (showing significant predictive value) shared the variability with the GA as follows: 16α-hydroxy-DHEA =72.9%, 16α-hydroxy-estrone =69.3%, 5-androstene-3β,7α,3β-triol =40.7%, 16α-hydroxy-progesterone =37.1%, DHEA =36.7%, 16α-hydroxy-pregnenolone =35.1%, estriol =33.3%, estrone =30.5%, 7β-hydroxy-pregnenolone =29.6%, 7α-hydroxy-DHEA =25.6%, 5-androstene-3β,7β,3β-triol =23.7%, estradiol =21.9%, epipregnanolone =21%, 17-hydroxy-progesterone =20.9%, pregnanolone =20.2%, androstenediol =13.6%, 20α-dihydroprogesterone =7.2%, 20α-dihydropregnenolone =6.4%.
Grants IGA NT/11513 and NT/12211 and advanced education of own staff in clinical and molecular endocrinology (CZ.2.17/1.1.00/32386) supported the study.
Declaration of interest: The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest that could be perceived as prejudicing the impartiality of the research project.
Funding: This work was supported, however funding details unavailable.
05 - 09 May 2012
European Society of Endocrinology