Accuracy and cost-analysis of placental alpha-microglobulin-1 test in the diagnosis of premature rupture of fetal membranes in resource-limited community settings

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Aim:To determine accuracy and costs of placental α-microglobulin-1 (PAMG-1) test compared to standard clinical assessment (SCA) for diagnosing rupture of membranes (ROM).Methods:A multicenter double-blind study of consecutive women with symptoms and signs of ROM in Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi and University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu, both in south-east Nigeria using SCA for ROM and the PAMG-1 test was done. ROM was diagnosed if two out of three methods from SCA (pooling, positive nitrazine test or ferning) were present and confirmed post-delivery based on presence of any two of these clinical criteria: delivery in 48 h to 7 days, evidence of chorioamnionitis, membranes overtly ruptured at delivery and adverse perinatal outcomes strongly correlated with prolonged PROM. A cost-analysis was also done. The outcome measures included sensitivity, specificity, accuracy and costs for the two tests.Results:Accuracy, sensitivity and specificity for the PAMG-1 test were 97.2%, 97.4% and 96.7%, higher than for SCA which were 83.7%, 87.9% and 70.5%, respectively (P < 0.001). Accuracy of SCA was higher at less than 34 weeks than 34 weeks or more (88.3% vs 81.4%) while the PAMG-1 test performed equally at both gestational age categories (96.1% vs 97.7%). In women without pooling, accuracy of the PAMG-1 test was 96.7%, while it was 40.0% with SCA. Analysis showed that the overall cost of SCA was 45% higher than the PAMG-1 test.Conclusion:This study confirms that the PAMG-1 test has a consistently high diagnostic accuracy at all gestational ages and with equivocal cases of ROM. The PAMG-1 test appears less costly than SCA.

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