A blood test in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy could indicate a risk of miscarriage or premature birth, early research suggests. US doctors believe they have found molecules in the blood that can be linked to serious birth complications, months before symptoms are apparent.
The findings could help doctors take steps to avoid premature birth. But experts warned against overstating the findings, citing the "small and preliminary" nature of the research.
In the UK, one in five pregnancies ends in miscarriage, while Britain has one of the highest rates of premature birth in Europe.
The proposed blood test screens for molecules called microRNA, which are found in blood cells in the placental bed - a thick membrane that lines the uterus during pregnancy.
- Source: BBC News