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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2009 (2009), Article ID 947981, 7 pages
Clinical Study

Urocortin in Second Trimester Amniotic Fluid: Its Role as Predictor of Preterm Labor

12nd Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Aretaieion Hospital, University of Athens, Athens 11528, Greece
2Fetal Medicine Unit, “LITO” Maternity Hospital, Athens 11524, Greece

Received 12 April 2009; Revised 27 June 2009; Accepted 20 August 2009

Academic Editor: Philipp M. Lepper

Copyright © 2009 C. Iavazzo et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Backgound. The existence of a “placental clock” which determines the duration of gestation has been previously proposed. It is related to placental CRH secretion and is active from an early phase in human pregnancy. Urocortin is a specific ligand for the corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) receptor expressed by human trophoblast and fetal membranes. The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether urocortin concentrations in the early second trimester amniotic fluid might serve to predict preterm delivery. Method. The urocortin concentrations in early second trimester amniotic fluid were measured in 41 pregnancies with term delivery and in 41 pregnancies with preterm delivery by using an immunoradiometric assay. Conditional logistic regression analysis was used for statistical analysis. Results. Mean amniotic fluid urocortin concentrations in women with preterm labor were  ng/mL while those in women with term labor were  ng/mL (p: NS). No statistical significant results were found when comparing amniotic fluid urocortin concentrations in women with preterm premature rupture of membranes leading to preterm labor ( ) to women with term delivery without premature rupture of membranes. Conclusion. These results suggest that urocortin concentrations in the amniotic fluid of genetic amniocentesis are not predictive of preterm labor and birth.