Which Factors Contribute to False-Positive, False-Negative, and Invalid Results in Fetal Fibronectin Testing in Women with Symptoms of Preterm Labor?
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SourceAmerican Journal of Perinatology, 34, 3, (2017), pp. 234-239
Article / Letter to editor
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American Journal of Perinatology
SubjectRadboudumc 0: Other Research RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences; Radboudumc 10: Reconstructive and regenerative medicine RIMLS: Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences
Objective We assessed the influence of external factors on false-positive, false-negative, and invalid fibronectin results in the prediction of spontaneous delivery within 7 days. Methods We studied symptomatic women between 24 and 34 weeks' gestational age. We performed uni- and multivariable logistic regression to estimate the effect of external factors (vaginal soap, digital examination, transvaginal sonography, sexual intercourse, vaginal bleeding) on the risk of false-positive, false-negative, and invalid results, using spontaneous delivery within 7 days as the outcome. Results Out of 708 women, 237 (33%) had a false-positive result; none of the factors showed a significant association. Vaginal bleeding increased the proportion of positive fetal fibronectin (fFN) results, but was significantly associated with a lower risk of false-positive test results (odds ratio [OR], 0.22; 95% confidence intervals [CI], 0.12-0.39). Ten women (1%) had a false-negative result. None of the investigated factors was significantly associated with a significantly higher risk of false-negative results. Twenty-one tests (3%) were invalid; only vaginal bleeding showed a significant association (OR, 4.5; 95% CI, 1.7-12). Conclusion The effect of external factors on the performance of qualitative fFN testing is limited, with vaginal bleeding as the only factor that reduces its validity.
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