The aim of this preliminary study was to investigate the potential of maternal serum to provide metabolomic biomarker candidates for the prediction of spontaneous preterm birth (SPTB) in asymptomatic pregnant women at 15 and/or 20 weeks’ gestation. Metabolomics LC-MS datasets from serum samples at 15- and 20-weeks’ gestation from a cohort of approximately 50 cases (GA < 37 weeks) and 55 controls (GA > 41weeks) were analysed for candidate biomarkers predictive of SPTB. Lists of the top ranked candidate biomarkers from both multivariate and univariate analyses were produced. At the 20 weeks’ GA time-point these lists had high concordance with each other (85%). A subset of 4 of these features produce a biomarker panel that predicts SPTB with a partial Area Under the Curve (pAUC) of 12.2, a sensitivity of 87.8%, a specificity of 57.7% and a p
-value of 0.0013 upon 10-fold cross validation using PanelomiX software. This biomarker panel contained mostly features from groups already associated in the literature with preterm birth and consisted of 4 features from the biological groups of “Bile Acids”, “Prostaglandins”, “Vitamin D and derivatives” and “Fatty Acids and Conjugates”.
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