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The Importance of PlGF

About PIGF

Placental Growth Factor (PlGF) is produced by the placenta*. It is a homodimeric disulfide linked protein. Mammalian cells produce the N-glycosylated form which is approximately 45 kDa in size. PlGF belongs to the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) family and binds primarily to vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 1 (VEGFR-1) also known as Fms-like tyrosine kinase-1 (Flt-1). The soluble form of VEGFR-1 (sVEGFR-1, sFlt-1) also binds PlGF and when present in circulation, binding to the receptor reduces the free fraction of PlGF capable of stimulating the membrane bound receptors. PlGF is an angiogenic factor, which is a vasodilator that increases the diameter of existing arteries. Very low levels of circulating free angiogenic factors may contribute to vascular endothelial dysfunction, which is one of the symptoms of pre-eclampsia.

PlGF and Early Screening of Early Pre-eclampsia

Maternal serum concentration of Placental Growth Factor (PlGF) has been shown to be reduced in a high proportion of pregnancies destined to develop pre-eclampsia. The reduction is significant already in the first trimester, making PlGF an ideal marker for early screening for the elevated risk of pre-eclampsia. Some of the best results in early pre-eclampsia prediction thus far, have been achieved using multiple parameters together with PlGF.

* It has been detected also in heart, lung, muscle and adipose tissue.

PlGF Determinations Throughout Pregnancy

Knowledge of the maternal serum PlGF level is valuable in all trimesters, and PerkinElmer’s new generation DELFIA Xpress PlGF 1-2-3 assay has been developed to allow this knowledge.

In the 1st trimester, PlGF 1-2-3 helps identify high risk pregnancies so that preventive action may be initiated during the 1st trimester.

In the 2nd and 3rd trimesters, the same product allows reassessment of risk and helps to identify pregnancies where timely intervention can improve outcome.

In all three trimesters best results are obtained by using the PlGF test result together with results for other markers, such as maternal history, ultrasound (uAD) and mean arterial blood pressure (MAP); the same combination of markers is suitable for use at every stage of pregnancy.


PerkinElmer products for pre-eclampsia are not available in all countries. For information on availability please contact your local sales representative.

Information provided within the Overview of Pre-eclampsia is for information purposes only and not intended to be construed as medical guidance. Always contact your healthcare professional for assessment and direction regarding your health.