A New Test For Predicting A Woman's Risk For Developing Preeclampsia May Be Available Soon.

Preeclampsia, is a condition that can develop in pregnancy, marked by sudden, sometimes dangerous spikes in blood pressure. Now, scientists...
Preeclampsia, is a condition that can develop in pregnancy, marked by sudden, sometimes dangerous spikes in blood pressure. Now, scientists say that they've developed a high-tech test that may be able to predict which women are most prone to preeclampsia in late pregnancy before symptoms arise. The testing method or "metabolic profiling," as the researchers are calling it, can track telltale metabolites found in blood plasma. These changes may be key indicators for preeclampsia risk. The researchers looked at 14 such metabolite targets and the results were reported in the October issue of Hypertension. Study lead author Dr. Louise C. Kenny, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Anu Research Center, University College Cork, in Cork, Ireland, says, "Everything we know about this condition suggests women do not become sick and present with preeclampsia until late in pregnancy, but the condition originates in early pregnancy. To develop effective treatment and prevention strategies -- our ultimate goal -- we need to be able to start treatment in early pregnancy. We need to be able to tell who is at risk and who is not." Preeclampsia, is a potentially life-threatening condition, affects around 5% of pregnant women and is a leading cause of maternal death, so having a test that can predict risk is a big deal. As this method of testing for preeclampsia risks develops, it'll allow doctors and midwives a much better means of surveillance and that can result in early intervention that can help improve maternal and baby outcomes. Study co-author Dr. Phil Baker, dean of medicine and dentistry at the University of Alberta, Canada, notes, "In the next five years our aim is to develop a simple blood test that will be available to all pregnant women that will detect the risk of preeclampsia in early pregnancy." *Source

Tags: multiple babies obesity in pregnancy preeclampsia preeclampsia risk factors preterm baby signs of preeclampsia


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