31 May PCOS: Inflammatory Markers May Signal Increase Risk of Pregnancy Complications
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Prof. Stefano Palomba
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
University “Magna Graecia” of Catanzaro
MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of the study?
Prof. Palomba: Our study demonstrates that simple markers of inflammation, commonly detectable in clinical practice with commercial kits, are significantly modified in women with PCOS during pregnancy and associated at an increased risk of complications during pregnancy in the same population with PCOS.
MedicalResearch: Were any of the findings unexpected?
Prof. Palomba: Many and several findings were unexpected.
First of all, we CRP levels resulted different between PCOS and controls from the 20th week of gestation (whereas WBC and ferritin from the 12th week). To this regard, CRP is considered a marker of low-grade chronic inflammation more sensible than WBC and ferritin.
Secondly, we initially studied all hematological parameters commonly assessed during pregnancy and the difference in ferritin levels between PCOS women and controls were really unexpected.
MedicalResearch: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
Prof. Palomba: Clearly the current is an experimental study that needs external confirmations. However, our study underline that increases in WBC, CRP and ferritin levels during pregnancy are related in PCOS patients with an increase of the risk in obstetric and/or fetal complications of 52%, 19% and 12%, respectively. From a statistical point of view that data were significant but can be also considered limited from a clinical point of view. Moreover, it should be considered that our PCOS population was heterogeneous and composed of a significant proportion of subjects with milder PCOS phenotypes.
MedicalResearch: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Prof. Palomba: Future researches need to evaluate the risk of pregnancy complications in high-risk PCOS phenotypes after (for example) in vitro fertilization
(IVF) treatments and the effect of pharmacological/non-pharmacological
interventions before and during pregnancy on that risk. In addition, new strategies of pregnancy surveillance for PCOS patients with high-risk profile are needed.