A new test may help clinicians identify which of their pregnant patients will miscarry. British researchers tested plasma levels of anandamide, a naturally occurring cannabinoid neurotransmitter, in 45 women who sought health care for a threatened miscarriage. Using the test, researchers correctly predicted all of the women who subsequently had a miscarriage and 94% of those who had a live birth. All women who miscarried had higher anandamide values than those women who had live births.
Using their findings, researchers determined a threshold level for anandamide. A larger study is needed to verify findings. If the test proves to be valid and clinically practical, it could help clinicians prepare and support women likely to miscarry.
Source: Habayeb OMH, et al., Plasma anandamide concentration and pregnancy outcome in women with threatened miscarriage, JAMA, March 12, 2008.