What is pre-eclampsia?
There are several names for pre-eclampsia: toxemia of pregnancy, pregnancy-induced hypertension, and preeclamptic toxemia. It can appear after the 20th week in any pregnant woman, without any warning signs. The most typical symptoms are suddenly developing high blood pressure (over 140/90 Hgmm), while increased protein in the urine (over 0.3 grams daily) and persistent edema can also be warning signs. The greatest danger of pre-eclampsia is that is can have extremely severe consequences for both the mother and the baby: the mother can develop kidney and liver failure, or stroke, while the fetus can suffer from developmental problems resulting from premature birth, because once the condition develops, there usually is no other option but to induce the delivery.
It is especially important to us at RMC Fetal Medicine Center that we keep up with and are active participants in progress made in fetal diagnostics. This is why we have available in our office a new screening method that has only been around for a short time: the test based on the uterine artery and PLGF - PAPP-A. According to data in the latest professional literature, 96% of high-risk cases can be detected using this method, with a 10% false positive rate. It’s also good to know that if an expectant mother has a high risk, there is a treatment option to reduce the likelihood of or delay developing it, by taking low doses of aspirin (75-100 mg) daily beginning prior to the 16th week.
Patients can request the new pre-eclampsia screening as a supplementary test to the first semester extended screening. It cannot be requested alone.
We regret that the test is currently not available for twin pregnancies.