Association between serum beta-human chorionic gonadotropin and preeclampsia and its effects on perinatal and maternal outcomes: a case control study

  • Sayran Ibrahem Taher
  • Shahla Kareem AlalafEmail author
Maternal- Fetal Medicine



The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship between serum beta-human chorionic gonadotropin (β-hCG) and preeclampsia (PE) and the effects of βhCG on maternal and perinatal outcomes.


This case–control study included 125 pregnant women who were admitted to the labor ward of the Maternity Teaching Hospital, Erbil City, Kurdistan, Iraq between January and December 2016. Participants included 50 women with severe PE, 25 with mild PE, and 50 who were normotensive. Serum β-hCG concentrations during labor were compared between groups and maternal and perinatal outcomes were recorded.


There were no significant differences in maternal age or parity distribution between the three groups. Gestational age was less than 37 weeks in 34% of the women with severe PE and in 12% of women in the mild PE and normotensive groups (p = 0.012). Mean β-hCG concentration was 37,520.56 mIU/mL in women with severe PE, 16,487 mIU/mL in those with mild PE, and 11,699.82 mIU/mL in those who were normotensive (p < 0.001). There were no significant differences in perinatal outcomes between groups; however, those with β-hCG concentrations ≥ 40,000 mIU/mL had worse neonatal outcomes (lower Apgar scores, higher rate of NICU admission, and lower survival rate) and unfavorable maternal outcomes (seizures, abruption, post-partum hemorrhage, and deep vein thrombosis).


There was a significant difference in β-hCG concentrations between women with PE and normotensive women. There were no significant differences in perinatal or maternal outcomes between groups, except in patients with β-hCG ≥ 40,000 mIU/mL.


β-hCG Maternal outcome Preeclampsia Perinatal outcome 



The research team would like to thank all the women who generously shared their time and agreed to participate in this study. Special thanks to Professor Namir G. Al.Hawler Medical University, College of Medicine, Department of Community Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq for helping with data analysis. We also thank Rebecca Tollefson, DVM, and Trish Reynolds, MBBS, FRACP, from Edanz Group ( for editing drafts of this manuscript.

Author contributions

SIT data collection, manuscript writing, and data analysis. SKA project development, manuscript revision, and data management.


This work was supported by the Kurdistan Board for Medical Specialties. Financial support was for academic purposes only.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical standards

This study was conducted in accordance with the ethical standards of the Ethics and Scientific Committee of Kurdistan Board of Medical Specialties Nb. 30/0217 and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2000. Written informed consent to participate in the study was obtained from each woman. Participants were assured that confidentiality would be maintained and that their information would be used for research purposes only.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Maternity Teaching HospitalErbīlIraq
  2. 2.Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, College of MedicineHawler Medical UniversityErbīlIraq

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