Preterm labour (PTL) can be predicted in those at risk, by serial measurement of cervical length on trans-vaginal ultrasound. If the cervical length is less than 25mm there are two available interventions; cervical cerclage and vaginal progesterone. However, prematurity surveillance clinics are labour intensive, expensive and only provide care and intervention for women with known risk factors.
miRNAs are small, single-stranded, 19-25 nucleotide molecules that regulate gene expression in almost all eukaryotes. Placental miRNAs are released into the maternal circulation where they remain stable and are easily detectable in blood providing novel, non-invasive biomarkers for placental disorders such as preeclampsia or fetal growth restriction.