Placental growth factor testing to assess women with suspected pre-eclampsia: a multicentre, pragmatic, stepped-wedge cluster-randomised controlled trial

Previous prospective cohort studies have shown that angiogenic factors have a high diagnostic accuracy in women with suspected pre-eclampsia, but we remain uncertain of the effectiveness of these tests in a real-world setting. We therefore aimed to determine whether knowledge of the circulating concentration of placental growth factor (PlGF), an angiogenic factor, integrated with a clinical management algorithm, decreased the time for clinicians to make a diagnosis in women with suspected pre-eclampsia, and whether this approach reduced subsequent maternal or perinatal adverse outcomes.

Studies found that the availability of PlGF test results substantially reduced the time to clinical confirmation of pre-eclampsia. Where PlGF was implemented, we found a lower incidence of maternal adverse outcomes, consistent with adoption of targeted, enhanced surveillance, as recommended in the clinical management algorithm for clinicians. Adoption of PlGF testing in women with suspected pre-eclampsia is supported by the results of this study.