Fetal fibronectin

Its presence in the cervical-vaginal secretions of symptomatic women during the 24-34 weeks of gestation indicates the increased risk of preterm delivery.

Its absence is a more reliable predictor of the risk of preterm delivery associated it indicates that the likelihood of the pregnancy to continue for at least one to two weeks is high.

Functions as a biological glue during pregnancy, attaching the fetal sac to the uterine lining.

It is present during the first trimester and for about half of the second trimester, in the cervical vaginal secretions.

After 22 weeks of gestation the protein is not detected until the end of the last trimester, 1-3 weeks before labor.

Its presence during weeks 24-4 of a high risk pregnancy, along with the symptoms of labor, suggests that the possibility of a preterm delivery may occur.

A cotton swab is used to collect cervical vaginal secretions which are analyzed for the presence or absence of the protein.

A negative fetal fibronectin is highly predictive than a preterm delivery will not occur within the next 7-14 days, and such a result can reduce unnecessary hospitalizations and therapies.

High levels may be secondary to other causes rather than risk of preterm delivery.

It is not presently a recommended routine study.

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