What placental growth factor means for you

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There is a lot of fascinating research being conducted that looks into the early days of the embryo, and some of the results have been surprising. After all, who would have thought that one formerly overlooked molecule, Placental Growth Factor, might be able to tell you so much about the health of your pregnancy?

Let’s understand your embryo

In its earliest stages, your baby is just a collection of quickly multiplying cells. The very first cell, which develops at the union of egg and sperm, is called a zygote. As the cells multiply and expand, the zygote then becomes a blastomere. This process of the embryo forming and developing is known as embryogenesis – an incredible dance between cells, chemicals, hormones, and your body.

The first cells to differentiate themselves from the egg are called trophoblasts, forming the outer layer of your baby’s placenta. The trophoblast produces a molecule known as Placental Growth Factor (PlGF), which encourages the placenta to expand so it can provide the nutrients your baby will need as he or she gets larger.

What can PlGF tell us?

Preeclampsia is a serious pregnancy complication, and results in high blood pressure and a number of other symptoms that can be dangerous for both mom and baby. Currently, the medical community hasn’t identified the exact cause of preeclampsia. What is known is that it affects 5-7% of all pregnancies.

While we may not know the cause of preeclampsia, we are now better able to identify the signs. Women with preeclampsia often have deficient levels of PlGF, something nobody had tested for until recently. PerkinElmer Labs/NTD has developed a test service called the PreeclampsiaScreen™ | T1, which tests PlGF levels, in addition to two other biomarkers called PAPP-A (pregnancy-associated plasma protein-A) and AFP (alpha fetoprotein), to help identify a mother’s chances of developing early onset preeclampsia.

Why the PreeclampsiaScreen™ | T1 matters

The most common indicator of preeclampsia is an increase in blood pressure and the presence of certain proteins in urine. One of the leading symptoms of preeclampsia is poor kidney function, which affects your body’s ability to filter out these proteins. This kind of diagnosis usually occurs around 20 weeks.

The PreeclampsiaScreen™ | T1 can be performed as early as 10 weeks, giving your doctor a lot more time to address your medical needs. It tests for what’s referred to as “early onset-preeclampsia” which affects around 0.5% of pregnancies. While this number is small, early-onset preeclampsia is very dangerous and is a major risk factor for several negative pregnancy outcomes, making the PreeclampsiaScreen™ | T1 a great test for moms everywhere. Tap the button below to learn more about early-onset preeclampsia, the PreeclampsiaScreen™ | T1 test, and how you can start a conversation with your doctor about getting tested.

Learn more

This ad is brought to you by PerkinElmer

Disclaimer: PreeclampsiaScreen™ | T1 test is a part of a lab service offering provided by PerkinElmer Labs/NTD. This test was developed and its performance characteristics determined by PerkinElmer Labs/NTD. It has not been cleared or approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The methods and performance characteristics have been reviewed and approved by the New York State Department of Health.
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