Inhibin, activin, follistatin, activin receptors and beta-glycan gene expression in the villous tissue of miscarriage patients.
OBJECTIVE To evaluate the relationship among maternal serum endocrinology, placental karyotype, and intervillous blood flow in missed miscarriage. DESIGN Cross-sectional study of maternal serum, transvaginal ultrasound/Doppler, and placental cytogenetic and immunohistochemical investigations. SETTING Tertiary care academic hospital. PATIENT(S) One hundred fifty-two women with missed miscarriage between 7 and 13 weeks of gestation. INTERVENTION(S) Ultrasound features, placental intervillous circulation findings on color Doppler imaging, and maternal serum level of alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), beta-hCG, E(2), P, and inhibin A were compared retrospectively with placenta karyotype and hCG immunochemistry. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES Data were analyzed according to karyotype results, presence or absence of an intervillous circulation, and delay between fetal demise and evacuation. RESULT(S) The presence of intervillous blood flow and serum concentrations of the different hormones were independent of placental karyotype. Serum beta-hCG and P were significantly higher in cases with intervillous blood flow. No difference in immunostaining for beta-hCG was found between placental tissues from normal pregnancies and missed miscarriages, but significantly higher villous beta-hCG content was found on Western blotting in miscarriage with a recent fetal demise. CONCLUSION(S) The excessive entry of maternal blood inside the placenta in the early stage of most miscarriages is unrelated to conceptus karyotype, and hCG features may reflect a temporary attempt of the trophoblast to stabilize after the initial oxidative insult.