Cystatin C, beta-2-microglobulin and beta-trace protein in pre-eclampsia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background. An altered renal function is an essential component of the patho-physiology of pre-eclampsia. The plasma levels of low molecular mass proteins, e. g. beta-trace protein, beta-2-microglobulin and cystatin C, are increased in the third trimester of normal pregnancy. The plasma levels of cystatin C and beta-2-microglobulin are further increased in preeclampsia, and the cystatin C level has been reported to be a reliable marker for the disease. The aim of this investigation was to study the plasma levels of beta-trace protein, beta-2-microglobulin and cystatin C in pre-eclampsia, and to determine the diagnostic performance of these proteins compared to that of urate and creatinine. Methods. A case-control study of 57 women diagnosed with pre-eclampsia, and 218 healthy women with uncomplicated singleton pregnancies in the third trimester. Women in the catchment area of Lund, Sweden, were included during an 18-month period from October 2003 to April 2005. Venous blood samples were drawn upon inclusion when diagnosis was made. The maternal plasma concentrations of the 3 proteins were analysed by automated particle-enhanced immunoturbidimetric assays. Results. The plasma levels of the 3 proteins were significantly higher in the third trimester of pre-eclamptic patients compared to healthy pregnant women in the third trimester. The upper reference limits ( parametric 97.5 percentile) were 2.57 mg/l for beta-2-microglobulin, 0.72 mg/l for beta-trace protein and 1.37 mg/l for cystatin C. ROC analysis showed similar diagnostic performance for the 3 proteins, with b-trace protein displaying the best diagnostic performance of all the analytes. Conclusions. In this study, the maternal plasma levels of beta 2-microglobulin, beta-trace protein and cystatin C were all significantly elevated in pre-eclampsia compared to those of healthy pregnant women, and displayed similar diagnostic performance for diagnosing pre-eclampsia. The results indicate that low molecular mass proteins are useful as markers of renal impairment in pre-eclampsia.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine


  • plasma proteins, pregnancy, creatinine, uric acid
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)921-926
JournalActa Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2007
Publication categoryResearch