Cytokine profile in women with cervical insufficiency
Cervical insufficiency (CI) is a condition in which the cervix prematurely shortens and dilates during pregnancy, typically resulting in mid-trimester pregnancy loss or premature labour. The causes of CI are currently unknown. However, recent studies have associated abnormalities in immune system regulation with pregnancy complications such as spontaneous abortion and premature birth. Since the immune system is regulated by circulating molecules known as cytokines, abnormal cytokine regulation could be associated with these pregnancy complications and with cervical insufficiency. Our goal is to detect and measure cytokine levels in samples of blood and cervical fluid from normal women and women with CI. By comparing normal samples versus CI samples, we expect to detect significant differences in the cytokine levels that could be used as a footprint to trace and further investigate the biological processes that are involved in the development of CI.