Author(s): Cole LA, Khanlian SA, Sutton JM, Davies S, Stephens ND
Abstract Share this page
Abstract OBJECTIVES: Hyperglycosylated human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) is an hCG variant with extra-large O-linked oligosaccharides, produced by phenotypically invasive cytotrophoblast cells in choriocarcinoma and pregnancy. It is the principal form of hCG produced in the first weeks of gestation. We investigated the importance of hyperglycosylated hCG in pregnancy testing and its detection by current hCG tests. DESIGN AND METHODS: We measured the concentration of hyperglycosylated hCG and total hCG in 512 pregnancies throughout gestation. We assessed and compared the abilities of 14 commonly used commercial laboratory hCG tests and 18 home pregnancy tests to detect regular and hyperglycosylated hCG. RESULTS: Hyperglycosylated hCG is the principal source of hCG-related immunoreactivity in early pregnancy. In the week following missing menses, hyperglycosylated hCG measurements may be more sensitive than regular hCG measurements in detecting pregnancy. Of 14 commercial laboratory hCG tests, 3 appropriately detected hyperglycosylated hCG standard. Of 18 different home pregnancy products 11 poorly or very poorly detected this key antigen. CONCLUSIONS: Hyperglycosylated hCG may be the key molecule in the detection of early pregnancy. However, the majority of tests poorly detected or failed to detect this key antigen. New pregnancy tests are needed that either solely detect hyperglycosylated hCG or equally detect regular hCG and hyperglycosylated hCG.
This article was published in Clin Biochem
and referenced in Journal of Glycobiology