New Discovery Of Early Diagnosis For Preeclampsia

Preeclampsia affects roughly 40% of pregnant women, and is one of the major reasons for complications in pregnancy. The causes are often multifaceted, and are not fully understood. Preeclampsia can be fatal to both the mother and infant, and thus early diagnosis is key to preventing these major complications. Although hypertension and proteinuria are often seen in preeclampsia, they are unreliable for predicting when preeclampsia will occur. It was necessary to find another way of predicting when this dangerous condition can occur.

Researcher in Berlin examined proteins produced by the placenta in order to see if they would better predict the occurrence of preeclampsia. In total 1,273 pregnant women suspected of having preeclampsia from 14 different countries underwent blood tests to determine the ratio of the proteins sFit-1 and PIGF. The ratio of sFit-1 to PIGF proteins was found to be a good indicator for when preeclampsia developed.

When the ratio was under 38, it ruled out the occurrence of preeclampsia occurring within one week by close to 100 percent. When the ratio was over 38, it was positively associated with ruling in preeclampsia over the next four weeks by 36.7 percent. Furthermore, with a ratio over 38, a 65.5 percent predictive value of maternal or fetal complications over this same time period was seen. Due to the fact that these proteins can be tested in the blood, it can provide crucial information in the absence of traditional symptoms needed for ruling in and out the possibility of this dangerous condition.

Harald Zeisler, Elisa Llurba, Frederic Chantraine, Manu Vatish, Anne Cathrine Staff, Maria Sennström, Matts Olovsson, Shaun P. Brennecke, Holger Stepan, Deirdre Allegranza, Peter Dilba, Maria Schoedl, Martin Hund, Stefan Verlohren. Predictive Value of the sFlt-1:PlGF Ratio in Women with Suspected Preeclampsia. New England Journal of Medicine, 2016; 374 (1): 13 DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1414838

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