Placental Lactogen

Taking a blood sample

Placental lactogen hormone levels are measured by taking a blood sample from the mother
Image by Thirteen Of Clubs, cropped (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The amount of placental lactogen in a mother’s blood may be used to check the health of the placenta, and therefore the foetus, in pregnancy. There should be a steady rise during normal pregnancy, but very high levels may be present with a choriocarcinoma (cancer of placenta) or small cell cancer of the lung. A level that drops is a sinister sign.

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