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Very early abortion: cervical biomarkers for pregnancy localization

Maureen Baldwin, Oregon Health & Science University

Project abstract

Objective: To identify whether early placental and endometrial biomarkers that can indicate intrauterine versus ectopic pregnancy can be detected in cervical mucus samples from women in early pregnancy and with pregnancy of unknown location. 

Methods: This study will be conducted at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) and Planned Parenthood of the Colombia-Willamette (PPCW) sites in Portland, OR. Potential subjects will be women seeking medical or surgical abortion prior to 42 days estimated gestational age. Subjects will undergo consent for cervical swab and uterine aspirate tissue collection following consent for their abortion but prior to receiving medications. We will create a biobank of samples and refine detection methods for trophoblast RNA in cervical mucus. If successful, we will correlate RNA expression for specific biomarkers from the cervical samples to uterine aspirates and clinical outcomes. This stage of the project will test the feasibility of RNA detection for trophoblast in the cervical swab.

Implications: Women seeking very early abortion who have a pregnancy of unknown location are often subjected to serial laboratory tests prior to proceeding with an abortion. We aim to develop a minimally invasive cervical swab analysis that could rule out ectopic pregnancy and improve the safety and expediency of early abortion.


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