A blood test predicts preeclampsia in pregnant women

“But we don’t really know who among these patients is more likely to have a really negative outcome,” she said.

Pre-eclampsia affects about 1 in 25 pregnancies, and the incidence has been increasing in recent years in the United States. The problem usually begins around the middle of pregnancy, although it can also occur after delivery. It can lead to a condition called preeclampsia, which can lead to seizures and death.

Black women in the United States have much higher rates of preeclampsia than white women, and are three times more likely than white women to develop kidney damage or die from preeclampsia. Black women are more likely to lose their children.

The blood test measures the ratio of two types of proteins produced by the placenta. A study published in NEJM Evidence in November tracked 1,014 pregnant women hospitalized with a hypertensive disorder of pregnancy at 18 medical centers in the United States from 2019 through 2021. Just under a third were black, and 16 were black. Cent of Hispanics.

Researchers It was found that the two proteins were highly imbalanced in the blood of women with severe pre-eclampsia. Those with the largest ratios had a 65 percent chance of progressing to severe preeclampsia and having their baby within two weeks, either spontaneously or through induction.

“If your levels are among the highest, you’re hooking up within a few days,” said Dr. Ravi Thadani, lead author of the study.

Dr Rana said that women who have symptoms suggestive of pre-eclampsia but who test negative can be reassured and sent home, but they may need to repeat the test every two weeks.

Pre-eclampsia develops rapidly, and without a blood test, the warning signs can be vague.

“A woman can go from feeling fine, being healthy, having normal kidney and liver function, and within 24 to 48 hours these organs can fail and she can develop brain swelling and seizures,” said Dr. Tadani. “That’s the scary part of the disease.”