Human chorionic gonadotropin was examined in female dialysis patients (18-50 years of age), and was classified as positive above 5 mlU/ml. In addition, fertility status was determined. For an enhanced index test, the cut-off of 5 mIU/ml was used for potentially fertile patients and 14 mIU/ml for infertile patients to calculate diagnostic test accuracy. The ideal cut-off for human chorionic gonadotropin was estimated using Liu’s method with bootstrapped 95% confidence intervals. Predictors of human chorionic gonadotropin increase were analyzed using multivariable linear regression.
Among 71 women, two (2.8%) were pregnant, 46 (64.8%) potentially fertile, and 23 (32.4%) infertile. We observed human chorionic gonadotropin concentrations > 5 mIU/ml in 10 patients, which had a sensitivity of 100% (95% confidence interval: 100 to 100), a specificity of 86% (95% confidence interval: 77 to 94), a positive predictive value of 17% (95% confidence interval: 8 to 25) and a negative predictive value of 100% (95% confidence interval: 100 to 100) for the diagnosis of pregnancy. Using a cut-off > 14 mIU/ml for infertile patients or the exclusion of infertile patients increased specificity to 93% or 98%, respectively. The ideal cut-off was 25 mIU/ml (95% confidence interval: 17 to 33). Pregnancy and potential fertility, but not age, were independent predictors of human chorionic gonadotropin.
Human chorionic gonadotropin is elevated > 5mIU/ml in 14.5% of non-pregnant dialysis patients of child-bearing age. In potentially fertile women, this cut-off can be used to exclude pregnancy. In case of an unknown fertility status, the ideal human chorionic gonadotropin cut-off was 25 mIU/ml.