First trimester fetal thymus volume may predict preeclampsia

Basaran O. E. , Guven E. S. , Guven S.

PREGNANCY HYPERTENSION-AN INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF WOMENS CARDIOVASCULAR HEALTH, vol.26, pp.116-120, 2021 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 26
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.preghy.2021.10.007
  • Page Numbers: pp.116-120
  • Keywords: Fetal thymus volume, First trimester, Preeclampsia, Screening, INVOLUTION, PREGNANCY


Objective: The immunological factors have role in the development of preeclampsia. The thymus is one of the main organs of the fetal immune system. The aim of this prospective clinical study was to investigate the association between fetal thymus volume and preeclampsia by adding the 3-dimensional measurement of thymus volume to the routine fetal ultrasound scan at 11-14 week of gestation. Study design: Totally 72 pregnant women in their first trimester of pregnancy were included and 3-D fetal thymus volume was measured with sonographic VOCAL programme. All women gestational period was followed. The data of women with preeclampsia (n = 10, study group) and without preeclampsia (n = 62, control group) were compared. Main outcome measures: Fetal thymus volume, preeclampsia development. Results: Fetal thymus volume, mean gestational age at birth and newborn birthweight were found to be statistically lower in cases with preeclampsia compared with those without any complications. When the fetal thymus volume measured by the VOCAL programme in the study group was used as a marker for preeclampsia development, the limit value was 0.0375 cm3; sensitivity was 87.1% and specificity was 50% (AUC 85.3%, P < .001, 95% CI 0.751-0.949). As a result of binary logistic regression analysis; the low fetal thymus volume measured at 11-14 gestational weeks can be used as a predictive factor for preeclampsia (P < .001). Conclusions: According to the results of this study; the development of preeclampsia may be predicted by measuring 3-D fetal thymus volume at the first trimester.