To evaluate the diagnostic value of maternal serum interleukin 6 (IL-6), for the prediction of preterm labor. Association of few major maternal high risk factors and occurrence of preterm labor was also studied.
Material and methods: Maternal serum IL-6 were prospectively determined in thirty patients in threatened preterm labor and thirty controls. Data was analyzed in study and control groups. Risk factors studied were - maternal age, socioeconomic status, parity, antenatal checkup, history of preterm labor in previous pregnancy, history of 2 or more spontaneous or induced abortion, vaginal infection.
Results: The strongest risk factor for preterm birth in our study is a previous preterm birth. In this study 60% mothers with history of preterm birth delivered preterm (p value - 0.05). Maternal serum IL-6 levels were significantly higher in the study group than controls. The IL-6 value associated with the highest percent of true positives and true negatives for the prediction of preterm labor was 5 pg/ml.
Conclusions: Maternal serum IL-6 is a reliable marker in the prediction and management of preterm labor and delivery.