Blood test after early miscarriage could reveal cause and aid prevention

Photo Courtesy of Bangkok Post

A groundbreaking Danish study has revealed that a blood test taken after a miscarriage as early as the fifth week of pregnancy can help determine the cause and potentially lead to preventative treatments. One in 10 women experience pregnancy loss, a number that increases in countries where pregnancies occur later in a woman’s childbearing years.

Henriette Svarre Nielsen, a Danish gynaecologist, and her team of researchers have recently published their findings in The Lancet. The study shows that a blood sample taken from the mother soon after a miscarriage can identify if the foetus had a chromosome anomaly. In Denmark, such tests are typically only offered after a woman has experienced three miscarriages and only if they occurred after the tenth pregnancy week.

As part of the ongoing study, all women who have suffered a miscarriage and visited the Hvidovre hospital emergency room are now offered the blood test. Over 75% of them have accepted so far. The blood test is sent to the hospital lab, where the foetus’ DNA is isolated, sequenced, and analysed to see if it carries a chromosome anomaly, which is the case in about 50 to 60% of miscarriages, reported Bangkok Post.

Doctors can assess if some abnormalities are more severe than others and estimate the likelihood of future miscarriages. If no abnormalities are detected, a thorough investigation for potential causes, such as hormonal imbalances, endocrine disorders, coagulation issues, or lifestyle factors, is conducted. Once a cause is identified, medical professionals can evaluate the risks and develop a treatment strategy.

The Copenhagen Pregnancy Loss (COPL) project, initiated in 2020, is still ongoing and expected to create a unique database on various illnesses, due to the large cohort of 1,700 women participating so far. Svarre Nielsen believes that the study’s results could ultimately contribute to preventing 5% of the 30 million miscarriages that occur globally every year.

World News


With a Bachelor's Degree in English, Jenn has plenty of experience writing and editing on different topics. After spending many years teaching English in Thailand, Jenn has come to love writing about Thai culture and the experience of being an ex-pat in Thailand. During long holidays, she travels to North of Thailand just to have Khao Soi!

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