Pre-eclampsia: A disease of theories
What is pre-eclampsia?
What are the symptoms of pre-eclampsia?
Pre-eclampsia is classified as one of four high blood pressure disorders that can occur during pregnancy. The symptoms of pre-eclampsia and how it differs from the other high blood pressure conditions are as follows :
- Gestational hypertension – characterised by high blood pressure but no excess protein in the urine or other signs of organ damage
- Chronic hypertension – high blood pressure that was present before pregnancy or that occurs before 20 weeks of pregnancy
- Chronic hypertension with superimposed pre-eclampsia – occurs in women who have been diagnosed with chronic high blood pressure before pregnancy, but then develop worsening high blood pressure and protein in the urine or other health complications during pregnancy
Current therapies for pre-elampsia
Why pre-eclampsia research matters and possible future treatments
Do you have pre-eclampsia, and need support?
Pre-eclampsia can be a life-changing experience and many women are left with unanswered questions about why it may have happened to them or how to prevent it. But remember, you are not alone. There are support and research organisations available online including:
- Pre-eclampsia. Tommy’s. https://www.tommys.org/pregnancy-information/pregnancy-complications/pre-eclampsia-information-and-support. Published 2021. Accessed December 16, 2021.
- Pre-eclampsia. nhs.uk. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pre-eclampsia/. Published 2021. Accessed December 16, 2021.
- Magee L, Khalil A, Kametas N, von Dadelszen P. Toward personalized management of chronic hypertension in pregnancy. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2020. doi:10.1016/j.ajog.2020.07.026.
- Rana S, Lemoine E, Granger J, Karumanchi S. Preeclampsia. Circ Res. 2019;124(7):1094-1112. doi:10.1161/circresaha.118.313276.
- Shennan A, Beardmore Gray A. PLGF – What We Know. Evesham: Action on pre-eclampsia; 2021:3-4.
- Premature birth statistics. Tommy’s. https://www.tommys.org/pregnancy-information/premature-birth/premature-birth-statistics. Published 2021. Accessed January 4, 2022.
- Cosmi E, Fanelli T, Visentin S, Trevisanuto D, Zanardo V. Consequences in Infants That Were Intrauterine Growth Restricted. J Pregnancy. 2011;2011:1-6. doi:10.1155/2011/364381.
- National Institutes of Health. Preterm Birth Causes, Consequences, And Prevention. Washington: National Academies Press; 2007:313-345.
- National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, 2019. Hypertension in Pregnancy: Diagnosis and Management. NICE, pp.21-22.
- National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, 2021. Severe hypertension, severe pre-eclampsia, and eclampsia in critical care. NICE, pp.4-6.
- Mol B, Roberts C, Thangaratinam S, Magee L, de Groot C, Hofmeyr G. Pre‑eclampsia. The Lancet. 2016;387(10022):999-1011. doi:10.1016/s0140‑6736(15)00070-7.
- Zehnder J, Tantry U, Gurbel P. Nonresponse and resistance to aspirin. Up to Date. 2020:1-5.
- Bij de Weg J, Abheiden C, Fuijkschot W et al. Resistance of aspirin during and after pregnancy: A longitudinal cohort study. Pregnancy Hypertens. 2020;19:25‑30. doi:10.1016/j.preghy.2019.11.008.
- Ahmed S, Brewer A, Tsigas E, Rogers C, Chappell L, Hewison J. Women’s attitudes, beliefs and values about tests, and management for hypertensive disorders of pregnancy. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2021;21(1). doi:10.1186/s12884-021-04144-2.
- Worton S, Pritchard H, Greenwood S et al. Kynurenine Relaxes Arteries of Normotensive Women and Those With Preeclampsia. Circ Res. 2021;128(11):1679-1693. doi:10.1161/circresaha.120.317612.