Accuracy of circulating placental growth factor, vascular endothelial growth factor, soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase 1 and soluble endoglin in the prediction of pre-eclampsia: A systematic review and meta-analysis

C. E. Kleinrouweler, M. M J Wiegerinck, C. Ris-Stalpers, P. M M Bossuyt, J. A M Van Der Post, P. Von Dadelszen, B. W J Mol, E. Pajkrt

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181 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives To investigate the capacity of circulating placental growth factor (PlGF), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase-1 (sFLT1) and soluble endoglin (sENG) to predict pre-eclampsia. Search strategy Medline and Embase through October 2010 and reference lists of reviews, without constraints. Selection criteria We included original publications on testing of PlGF, VEGF, sFLT1 and sENG in serum or plasma of pregnant women at <30 weeks of gestation and before clinical onset of pre-eclampsia. Data collection and analysis Two reviewers independently identified eligible studies, extracted descriptive and test accuracy data and assessed methodological quality. Summary estimates of discriminatory performance were obtained. Main results We included 34 studies. Concentrations of PlGF (27 studies) and VEGF (three studies) were lower in women who developed pre-eclampsia: standardised mean differences (SMD) -0.56 (95% CI -0.77 to -0.35) and -1.25 (95% CI -2.73 to 0.23). Concentrations of sFLT1 (19 studies) and sENG (ten studies) were higher: SMD 0.48 (95% CI 0.21-0.75) and SMD 0.54 (95% CI 0.24-0.84). The summary diagnostic odds ratios were: PlGF 9.0 (95% CI 5.6-14.5), sFLT1 6.6 (95% CI 3.1-13.7), sENG 4.2 (95% CI 2.4-7.2), which correspond to sensitivities of 32%, 26% and 18%, respectively, for a 5% false-positive rate. Author's conclusions PlGF, sFLT1 and sENG showed modest but significantly different concentrations before 30 weeks of gestation in women who developed pre-eclampsia. Test accuracies of all four markers, however, are too poor for accurate prediction of pre-eclampsia in clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)778-787
Number of pages10
JournalBJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012


  • Biomarkers
  • placental growth factor
  • pre-eclampsia
  • soluble endoglin
  • soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase-1
  • vascular endothelial growth factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology

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