Objective To assess differences in cytokine levels in cervicovaginal fluid (CVF) and serum across trimesters between women with preterm births (PTBs) and full-term births.

Study Design This multicenter study enrolled 302 women with a singleton gestation. CVF and serum cytokines, interleukin 1α (IL-1α), IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, C-reactive protein (CRP), tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, and matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-8, were measured. Women with at least one cytokine assessment and noted PTB status in their medical record were retained in the study (N = 272). Data were analyzed using mixed modeling (main effects of PTBs and time/trimester).

Results For the CVF values of IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, TNF-α, and CRP, and serum MMP-8, those who delivered preterm had significantly higher values than the full-term group regardless of trimester. For the serum values of IL-1β, IL-6, and TNF-α, those delivering preterm had significantly lower values than those delivering full-term regardless of trimester. For IL-1β in CVF, the cytokine was significantly higher in the PTB group for second and third trimesters only, relative to the full-term group.

Conclusion For each CVF cytokine that differed by birth status, values were higher for PTB than term, averaged over trimester. Numerous cytokine profiles varied across trimesters in women delivering term versus preterm in both CVF and serum.

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Notes/Citation Information

Published in American Journal of Perinatology Reports, v. 8, issue 2, p. 113-120.

© 2018 by Thieme Medical Publishers, Inc.

This journal is published under the Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND (Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives)

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Funding Information

Research funding was provided by two grants awarded to Kristin Ashford from the National Institutes for Health: Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women's Health (BIRCWH: K12DA14040) and Center for Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE: 5P20GM103538). This research was also funded in part by the University of Kentucky Clinical and Translational Research Center KL2RR033171 (CTSA grant number NIH CTSA UL1TR000117).