Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth and BioMed Central.

Open Access Research article

Meta-analysis of studies on biochemical marker tests for the diagnosis of premature rupture of membranes: comparison of performance indexes

Montse Palacio1*, Maritta Kühnert2, Richard Berger3, Cindy L Larios4 and Louis Marcellin5

Author Affiliations

1 BCNatal - Barcelona Center for Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine (Hospital Clínic and Hospital Sant Joan de Deu), IDIBAPS, University of Barcelona and CIBERER Barcelona, Spain, Sabino de Arana 1, Barcelona 08028, Spain

2 University Medical Centre, Hospital for Obstetrics and Perinatal Medicine, University of Marburg, Marburg, Germany

3 Marienhaus Klinikum St. Elisabeth, Neuwied, University of Mainz, Mainz, Germany

4 Medical Department, Clever Instruments S.L, Barcelona, Spain

5 Université Paris Descartes, Maternité Port Royal, Hospital Cochin, Paris, France

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 2014, 14:183  doi:10.1186/1471-2393-14-183

Published: 31 May 2014



Premature rupture of the membranes (PROM) is most commonly diagnosed using physical examination; however, accurate decision making in ambiguous cases is a major challenge in current obstetric practice. As this may influence a woman’s subsequent management, a number of tests designed to assist with confirming a diagnosis of PROM are commercially available. This study sought to evaluate the published data for the accuracy of two amniotic fluid-specific biomarker tests for PROM: insulin-like growth factor binding protein-1 (IGFBP-1 – Actim® PROM) and placental alpha microglobulin-1 (PAMG-1 – AmniSure®).


Main analysis included all PubMed referenced studies related to Actim® PROM and AmniSure® with available data to extract performance rates. To compare accuracy, a comparison of pooled indexes of both rapid tests was performed. Studies in which both tests were used in the same clinical population were also analysed. Membrane status, whether it was known or a suspected rupture, and inclusion or not of women with bleeding, were considered.


All the available studies published in PubMed up to April 2013 were reviewed. Data were retrieved from 17 studies; 10 for Actim® PROM (n = 1066), four for AmniSure® (n = 1081) and three studies in which both biomarker tests were compared directly. The pooled analysis found that the specificity and positive predictive value were significantly higher for AmniSure® compared with Actim® PROM. However, when 762 and 1385 women with known or suspected rupture of membranes, respectively, were evaluated, AmniSure® only remained significantly superior in the latter group. Furthermore, when the two tests were compared directly in the same study no statistically significant differences were observed. Remarkably, women with a history or evidence of bleeding were excluded in all four studies for AmniSure®, in two Actim® PROM studies and in two of the three studies reporting on both tests.


No differences were observed in the performance of the two tests in studies where they were used under the same clinical conditions or in women with known membrane status. Although AmniSure® performed better in suspected cases of PROM, this may need further analysis as exclusion of bleeding may not be representative of the real clinical presentation of women with suspected PROM.

IGFBP-1; PAMG-1; PROM; Rapid test