Insulin-like growth factor binding protein-3 in the detection of fetal Down syndrome pregnancies

D. C. Chu*, C. Hsu, K. D. Wenstrom, L. R. Boots

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

4 Scopus citations


Objective: To study the usefulness of maternal serum insulin-like growth factor binding protein-3, a potential cell growth inhibitor, in second trimester prenatal screening for fetal Down syndrome. Methods: Three hundred and forty-two samples from normal pregnancies and nine fetal Down syndrome pregnancies were analyzed for insulin-like growth factor binding protein-3 levels by radioimmunoassay. Data were converted to multiples of median (MoM) and analyzed statistically to compare the differences between control and Down syndrome pregnancies. Results: The mean insulin-like growth factor binding protein-3 MoM of Down syndrome-affected pregnancies (1.09) was significantly higher than that of the normal pregnancies (1.00) (P < .01). Insulin-like growth factor binding protein-3, in combination with maternal serum alpha-fetoprotein (MSAFP), hCG, and maternal age, detected 89% of Down syndrome pregnancies at a screen positive rate of 2.1%. This compares favorably to the standard combination of MSAFP, hCG, and unconjugated estriol (E3), which had a 66.7% Down syndrome detection rate and a 4.1% screen positive rate in our study samples. Conclusion: This retrospective analysis suggested that the inclusion of insulin-like growth factor binding protein-3 into the triple screen program to replace unconjugated E3 might enhance the detection rate of fetal Down syndrome pregnancies. These data need to be confirmed by a larger prospective study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)192-195
Number of pages4
JournalObstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 02 1998
Externally publishedYes


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