New research suggests a blood test done during the first trimester of pregnancy could indicate the likelihood of miscarriage, pre-eclampsia and premature birth.
The blood test screens for microRNA molecules, which are found in the placental bed – a thick membrane that lines the uterus when a woman is pregnant – and could be linked to birth complications, the BBC reports.
Conducted by the Laboratory for Reproductive Medicine and Immunology in San Francisco, the study found that the test predicted miscarriage and late pre-eclampsia with approximately 90 per cent accuracy and premature birth before 34 weeks with approximately 89 per cent accuracy.
However, they looked at only 160 births and doctors warn that the research is in its very early stages only.
“Although the results might seem exciting and cutting edge, there is unfortunately a high risk of them being wrong,” honorary professor of clinical embryology and stem cell biology at the University of Manchester, Daniel Brison told the BBC. “We need larger follow-up studies to be sure whether these results are valid.”
This article originally appeared on marie claire.