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Hypomethylated Fraction of Cell-Free DNA in Pregnant Women at Term: A Mechanistic Understanding of Spontaneous Labor
||Hypomethylated Fraction of Cell-Free DNA in Pregnant Women at Term: A Mechanistic Understanding of Spontaneous Labor
||Mohak Mhatre, MD
This research study involves enhancing our understanding of how normal spontaneous labor happens. Cell-free DNA is small segments of DNA that is released from multiple different types of cells into the circulation, and is normally found in everyone's blood. When a woman is pregnant, some portion of the circulating cell-free DNA is from the placenta, and is therefore considered "fetal". The amount of cell-free fetal DNA is thought to decrease after delivery of the baby and placenta. This research study is attempting to determine whether levels of cell-free fetal DNA vary across a spectrum of patient weight, and whether these levels platy a role in initiating or starting normal labor. Peripheral blood samples are collected in lean and obese pregnant women at term when they present to Tufts Medical Center for delivery. We subsequently process the blood samples to analyze the level of cell-free fetal DNA. In addition, the placenta is usually discarded after delivery, For our study, we will take a small biopsy of the placenta.
- Pregnant patients who are at least 18 years old. There is no upper age limit
- Singleton pregnancy of at least 37 weeks gestation.
- Admitted for delivery
- Maternal age under 18
- Uncertain pregnancy dating (i.e. unknown last menstrual period and first ultrasound after 20 weeks gestation)
- Multiple gestation (twins, triplets, higher order multiples)
One peripheral blood collection (10ml) will occur upon admission to Tufts Labor & Delivery. A second peripheral blood collection (10ml) will occur at least 24 hours after delivery during the patient's hospital stay before the patient is discharged.