Development of the genomic inflammatory index (GII) to assess key maternal antecedents associated with placental inflammation.

Kirsi S Oldenburg, Lauren A Eaves, Lisa Smeester, Hudson P Santos, T Michael O’Shea, Rebecca C Fry

Placenta. 2021 Aug;111:82-90. doi: 10.1016/j.placenta.2021.06.010. Epub 2021 Jun 18. PMID: 34182215.

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The Genomic Inflammatory Index demonstrated a nine-fold difference across subjects and displayed positive trends with other indicators of placental inflammation. Significant differences in the GII were observed for race where women who self-identified as Black displayed higher levels of placental inflammation than those who self-identified as White women (p < 0.001). Additionally, married Black women showed reduced placental inflammation compared to those who were unmarried (beta value: 0.828, p-value: 0.032). Placentas from women who were treated with steroids during the delivery of the infant displayed higher GII levels than those who were not (p = 0.023). Overall, the GII demonstrated an association between various perinatal factors and placental inflammation. It is anticipated that the GII will provide a novel genomics tool for quantifying placental inflammation, allowing for further investigation of causes, and ultimately the prevention, of inflammation in the placenta.