Fetal fibronectin as a predictor of spontaneous preterm labour in asymptomatic women with a cervical cerclage

K. E. Duhig, M. Chandiramani, P. T. Seed, A. L. Briley, A. P. Kenyon, A. H. Shennan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Objective To assess the accuracy of fetal fibronectin (fFN) testing for prediction of preterm labour in asymptomatic high-risk women with a cervical cerclage. Design Retrospective observational study. Setting United Kingdom. Population Nine hundred and ten asymptomatic women at high-risk of Preterm birth referred to specialist antenatal clinics and undergoing fFN testing between November 1997 and December 2007. Methods Women had fFN tests taken between 23+0 and 27+6 weeks' gestation, on one or more occasions. Main outcome measures Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive values and negative predictive values of fFN testing for predicting delivery <30 and <37 weeks were compared in those with and without cerclage. Results For delivery <30 weeks' gestation, the specificity of fFN testing was significantly lower in women with cervical cerclage (77% vs 90%; P ≤ 0.00001). The sensitivity of the test was similar between the groups (78.6 (no-cerclage) vs 60% (cerclage); P > 0.4). The negative predictive value of the fFN test for delivery <30 weeks was high in both groups (>98%). Conclusions Asymptomatic high-risk women with cerclage in situ are more likely to have a false positive fFN test. The negative predictive value is similar.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)799-803
Number of pages5
JournalBJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - May 2009
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2009 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Cerclage
  • Fetal fibronectin
  • Sensitivity and specificity
  • Spontaneous preterm birth


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