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The exploitation of extracellular nucleic acids in diagnosis and prediction of placental insufficiency-related complications
As placental insufficiency-related complications are one of the leading causes of maternal, as well as perinatal, morbidity and mortality, it is imperative to develop effective methods for their prediction prior to the development of clinical signs (ideally during the first trimester of gestation). There has been a trend in prenatal medicine over the last 10 years to develop non-invasive methods to monitor excessive placental trophoblast apoptosis associated with placental insufficiency utilizing extracellular nucleic acids quantification in maternal plasma. The recent advances demonstrated by our group are reviewed with a focus on the diagnostic potential of particular extracellular DNA and micro-RNA markers and their application in routine praxis.