Preeclampsia is the most common of the dangerous pregnancy complications. It is characterised by elevated blood pressure, protein in the urine and accumulation of excess fluid beneath the skin. If not treated in time, preeclampsia may progress to eclampsia, characterised by tonic-clonic seizures which can possibly result in maternal and infant death.
Doctor Stefan Verlohren from the Department of Obstetrics and his team examined a total of 630 pregnant women. 388 of those were having a normal pregnancy whereas 164 suffered from preeclampsia. The scientists closely observed the remaining time of pregnancy in patients with preeclampsia. In cases where the concentration of two certain placenta-derived growth factors, so-called sFlt-1 and PlGF, exceeded a certain value the duration of pregnancy was significantly shorter. In patients with especially high test results delivery resulted within 48 hours.
“With this test we can assess the severity of preeclampsia and give a short-term prognosis of the disease course”, explains Verlohren. Further studies will have to evaluate the test's validity in women who have an elevated risk of developing preeclampsia.
MEDICA.de; Source: Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin