Interleukin-6 bedside testing in women at high risk of preterm birth

Nicola Vousden*, Manju Chandiramani, Paul Seed, Andrew Shennan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Objective. Infection is likely to contribute to preterm birth (PTB). Laboratory analysis has demonstrated that vaginal IL-6 is correlated with PTB. We aimed to investigate a bedside test in this context. Method.Vaginal secretions were collected from 71 asymptomatic high-risk women. After 20 minutes incubation at room temperature, samples were analyzed by the bedside reader (IL-6 concentration in pg/ml) (Milenia-Biotec, Germany). Maternal and neonatal infectious markers and pregnancy outcome were recorded. Results.IL-6 was related to PTB, latency to gestation and maternal infection but not neonatal infection. In women with visible fetal membranes (n = 13), all of those with a high IL-6 (≥56 pg/ml) had a PTB (n = 11) compared to half (n = 1) with a low IL-6 (<56 pg/ml). All the women with a high IL-6 at <24 weeks' (n = 10) delivered before viability compared to none with a low IL-6 (n = 2). In women with preterm prelabor rupture of membrane (PPROM) and high IL-6 (n = 8) there was a trend toward more extreme PTB's (57% vs. 0%, p = 0.19) and delivery within 7 days (71% vs. 50%, p = 0.09) compared to low IL-6 (n = 5). Conclusion.IL-6 may be useful in guiding the difficult management of patients with visible membranes and PPROM, for example, the potential benefit of a cervical cerclage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1301-1304
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2011


  • asymptomatic
  • bedside test
  • Infection
  • spontaneous preterm birth


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