NASHVILLE, TENN. – according to findings from a study of urine samples from a prospective cohort of women referred to a labor and delivery triage center to rule out the condition.
The study involved the evaluation of 349 frozen urine samples from the cohort, which included 89 preeclampsia cases (26%) as diagnosed by expert adjudication based on 2013 American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists guidelines. Visual scoring by a blinded user at 3 minutes after application of urine to the test device for 329 available samples showed 84% test sensitivity, 77% test specificity, and 93% negative predictive value, compared with the adjudicated diagnoses, Wendy L. Davis reported during an e-poster session at ACOG’s annual clinical and scientific meeting.
Of the women in the study cohort, 52% were multiparous, 91% were overweight or obese, 38% were early preterm, 31% were late preterm, and 31% were at term. Cases were described by at least one referring physician as “particularly challenging and ambiguous,” said Ms. Davis, founder and CEO of GestVision in Groton, Conn., and colleagues.
The findings, which suggest that this rapid test holds promise as an aid in the diagnosis of preeclampsia, are important as preeclampsia-associated morbidity and mortality most often occur because of a delay or misdiagnosis, they explained, also noting that diagnostic criteria for preeclampsia are “inadequate even in best care situations.”
The test – an in vitro diagnostic device known as the GestAssured Test Kit – is being developed by GestVision based on data showing that aberrant protein misfolding and aggregation is a pathogenic feature of preeclampsia. That data initially led to development of the Congo Red Dot test as a laboratory batch test, followed by development and validation of a point-of-care version of the test to allow for better integration in clinical work flow.
The GestAssured Test Kit currently in development for commercial use is based on that technology, and the current data suggest that it has slightly higher sensitivity, slightly lower specificity, and slightly higher negative predictive value than the Congo Red Dot test.
“The GestAssured test was developed specifically for preeclampsia and has a high negative predictive value, suggesting that this device, in conjunction with ACOG task force guidelines for hypertension in pregnancy, can assist in ruling out disease in patients suspected of preeclampsia,” the investigators wrote.
“[It is] particularly useful in a triage setting where you have a complex collection of patients coming in,” Ms. Davis said during the poster presentation. “And it warrants ongoing U.S. multicenter clinical studies.”
This study was funded by GestVision and Saving Lives at Birth. Ms. Davis is an employee and shareholder of GestVision and is named as an inventor or coinventor on patents licensed for commercialization to the company.