New Pre-Eclampsia test could save lives
Pre-eclampsia is a condition that appears during pregnancy characterized by high blood pressure and significant amounts of protein levels found in the urine of an expectant woman. If left untreated, it can develop into eclampsia, the life-threatening occurrence of seizures during pregnancy.
There are many different causes for the condition. It appears likely that there are substances from the placenta that can cause endothelial dsyfunction in the maternal blood vessels of susceptible women. Pre-eclampsia can occur any time after 20 weeks of gestation.
A new blood test for pre-eclampsia, could potentially save hundreds of babies’ lives a year in the UK, say researchers.
The bedside test blood test can give a quick resut within just 15 minutes and can identify 96% of pregnant women at high risk of the condition.
It was developed by British scientists who studied a group of 625 pregnant women from across the UK, 61% of whom were affected by pre-eclampsia.
The condition can damage the kidneys, liver and brain and lead to premature delivery, low birthweight babies, and stillbirths.
The test allows early diagnosis and treatment and monitoring for the pregnant mother. Currently the only cure for severe pre-eclampsia is to deliver the baby, regardless of how advanced the pregnancy is. The test was able to identify 96% of women in the study who ended up having to give birth within 14 days.
This could be a life saving test for all unidentified cases of the condition.