The aim of this study was to investigate maternal systemic thiol/disulphide homeostasis (TDH) for the short-term prediction of preterm birth in women with threatened preterm labour (TPL). This prospective study included 75 pregnant women whose pregnancies were complicated by TPL. Thirty-seven of them delivered within 7 days and 38 of them delivered beyond 7 days. Maternal serum samples were collected at the day of diagnosis and the TDH was measured. The maternal disulphide level was significantly higher in pregnant women who delivered within 7 days (25.0 +/- 9.8 mu mol/L vs 19.4 +/- 9.8 mu mol/L, p: .015). The threshold value of 22.1 mu mol/L for maternal disulphide level predicted delivery within 7 days with 62.2% sensitivity and 60.5% specificity (area under curve 0.651, confidence interval 0.53-0.78). The likelihood ratios for short cervix (<= 25 mm) and maternal disulphide level (>= 22 mu mol/L) to predict delivery within 7 days was found to be 8.7 and 7.3, respectively. The likelihood ratio of combining two tests to predict delivery within 7 days was found to be 11.4. The maternal TDH, which is an indicator of oxidative stress status in maternal compartment, is disturbed in TPL cases who delivered within 7 days. Elevated maternal disulphide level along with cervical length screening predicts a short latency period in pregnancies with TPL. IMPACT STATEMENT What is already known on this subject? Spontaneous preterm delivery is one of the major complication of pregnancy and the common cause of neonatal morbidity and mortality. Threatened preterm labour (TPL) is also a frequent complaint in obstetric emergency care units in all around the world. Triaging women with TPL is mandatory for planning further management therapies, since the most of them will eventually deliver at term. Only the measurement of cervical length in symptomatic women has moderate accuracy in predicting preterm delivery. Short cervix is described as an independent predictor of preterm delivery in women with TPL, its predictive accuracy as a single measurement is relatively limited. On this account, several potential markers like foetal fibronectin in the cervicovaginal fluid, salivary oestriol, prolactin in vaginal discharge, maternal serum calponin and interleukin-6 in the amniotic fluid were examined to predict preterm delivery in previous studies. However, none of them represented an excessive predictive accuracy like high sensitivity, PPV or NPV. What do the results of this study add? We report a method which has higher diagnostic and predictive performance to identifying TPL women with high risk of preterm delivery. According to the current literature, there are accumulated data about the correlation between oxidative stress (OS) and preterm delivery regardless of the amniotic membrane status. However, it is still debated whether OS is a trigger or a consequence of preterm delivery. Our study provides evidence for the first time that maternal serum thiol/disulphide homeostasis, which is an indicator of OS in maternal compartment, is disturbed in TPL cases who delivered within 7 days. The high disulphide level in maternal serum, along with cervical length measurement (short cervix) accurately predicts a short latency period in TPL cases.