Pregnancy is a beautiful phase for expecting parents. Unfortunately, at times pregnancies are laden with difficulties, leading to termination. Termination of pregnancy has a devastating effect on parents, both physically and psychologically. Doctors and parents wish to avoid cases of spontaneous pregnancy terminations. To avoid such a scenario, BOH tests are done to rule out reasons for problems during pregnancy.
“BOH Test” stands for “Bad Obstetric History Test.” This group of tests deduces when there is a problem in the ongoing pregnancy. The BOH test panel also determines if there were problems in previous pregnancies.
Why the BOH test?
BOH means the history of three consecutive unfavorable fetal outcomes – whether by way of miscarriage, stillbirth, or low birth weight. The death of a newborn after a month of birth also calls for a BOH test panel. This test also rules out the causes of the termination of an intrauterine pregnancy.
Another cause of BOH could be APAS. APAS stands for Antiphospholipid Antibodies Syndrome that can cause APLS, which is Antiphospholipid Syndrome. APLS causes the clotting of blood in veins and arteries. It is an auto-immune disorder, and thus cannot be cured. Medicines, however, can control the condition.
Precautions before the BOH Test
- Fasting – Precautions for BOH include a fasting period of 10-12 hours before conducting the test. A fasting period allows for the tests to be more accurate. However, drinking water is allowed in this period. It is encouraged so that there are no instances of dehydration, which can affect bodily functions. Test results can also be affected by dehydration.
- Medications – Some medications are discontinued during the testing period. One of them is heparin. Heparin is an anticoagulant that arrests the clotting of blood. Your doctor will explain the time frame for stopping anticoagulants while prescribing the BOH test. This discontinuation allows for determining the levels of coagulation without medicines.
- Coagulation requisition form – It is compulsory to fill out the coagulation requisition form before conducting the BOH test panel.
Procedure for BOH Test
The procedure for the BOH test panel is like any other blood test from a patient’s perspective. Blood is drawn from the veins after a fasting period. The sample requires needle insertion, and some patients may need psychological preparation before the blood sample is tested.
Factors of BOH Testing
The main component of checking the blood sample is APAS. Through testing, anticardiolipin antibodies and lupus anticoagulants are analyzed. Let us check them out in detail.
- APAS – APAS can lead to the coagulation of blood or clots. It is problematic during pregnancy as the blood does not reach the placenta. The placenta is the medium for nutrition and oxygen for the fetus. Blood clotting can result in miscarriage. There are instances when the presence of APAs leads to consecutive miscarriages. Lupus Anticoagulant (LA), Anti Cardiolipin Antibodies (ACA), and Anti Ꞵ Glycoprotein I Antibodies are covered under APAS. There are types in LA and ACA. These subtypes of IgG and IgM in LA, IgG, IgA, and IgM are also tested.
- Antinuclear Antibodies (ANA) – The nucleus of a cell is a portion that controls the genetic information. It is also responsible for the growth and reproduction of a cell. These antinuclear antibodies attack the nucleus of a cell. When antibodies attack the nucleus of a cell, it hampers its function. It can lead to problems during pregnancies or even termination.
- TORCH – TORCH is a group of tests. It stands for Toxoplasma gondii, Rubella virus, Cytomegalovirus, and Herpes virus. These are all virus infections. A TORCH test panel is conducted to ascertain the presence of any of these infections during pregnancy. These infections do not affect the mother as much as they affect the baby. The baby may develop complications due to these infections.
Electromechanical clot detection, Enzyme Immunoassay(EIA), and Chemiluminescent Immunoassay (CLIA) are testing methods.
BOH test results
The results from the blood samples are available in 3 – 7 days. The report can be collected from the lab or e-mailed to the patient. The doctor assesses the lab results and plans further course of action.
Parents pray that the pregnancy goes well, but circumstances might not support it. Such complicated times must be navigated with the help of a competent and sympathetic doctor. When going for lab tests, it is important to choose a reputed lab. These tests require competency and efficiency, and good labs have trained technicians. The correct procedure should be followed to collect, store, and test the samples. Patients should follow precautions before testing. They should also remember that the tests will help them understand the reasons for pregnancy problems. So they should not be afraid of tests and get these investigations carried out in time. BOH test panels can be a lifesaver for an unborn child.