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Hypertensive Pregnancy Disorders

Hypertensive disorders of pregnancy include chronic hypertension, gestational hypertension, preeclampsia/eclampsia, and hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes, and low platelet count (HELLP) syndrome. These syndromes pose a significant risk to the pregnant woman and her fetus. Hypertension is defined as a BP > 140/90 mm Hg and can be diagnosed before (chronic) or after (gestational) the 20th week of gestation. Preeclampsia is gestational hypertension with proteinuria and/or end-organ damage. Eclampsia is preeclampsia with seizures. HELLP syndrome is a severe manifestation of preeclampsia leading to hemolysis, low platelets, and liver injury. Management is with antihypertensives and magnesium sulfate for seizure prophylaxis or treatment, depending on the presentation. The definitive treatment for all hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (aside from chronic hypertension) is delivery.

Last updated: Jun 17, 2022

Editorial responsibility: Stanley Oiseth, Lindsay Jones, Evelin Maza

Overview

Classification and definitions

  • Hypertension Hypertension Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common disease that manifests as elevated systemic arterial pressures. Hypertension is most often asymptomatic and is found incidentally as part of a routine physical examination or during triage for an unrelated medical encounter. Hypertension is elevated BP:
    • Systolic BP ≥ 140 mm MM Multiple myeloma (MM) is a malignant condition of plasma cells (activated B lymphocytes) primarily seen in the elderly. Monoclonal proliferation of plasma cells results in cytokine-driven osteoclastic activity and excessive secretion of IgG antibodies. Multiple Myeloma Hg; and/or
    • Diastolic BP ≥ 90 mm MM Multiple myeloma (MM) is a malignant condition of plasma cells (activated B lymphocytes) primarily seen in the elderly. Monoclonal proliferation of plasma cells results in cytokine-driven osteoclastic activity and excessive secretion of IgG antibodies. Multiple Myeloma Hg
  • Chronic hypertension Hypertension Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common disease that manifests as elevated systemic arterial pressures. Hypertension is most often asymptomatic and is found incidentally as part of a routine physical examination or during triage for an unrelated medical encounter. Hypertension is hypertension Hypertension Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common disease that manifests as elevated systemic arterial pressures. Hypertension is most often asymptomatic and is found incidentally as part of a routine physical examination or during triage for an unrelated medical encounter. Hypertension diagnosed at < 20 weeks gestational age Gestational age The age of the conceptus, beginning from the time of fertilization. In clinical obstetrics, the gestational age is often estimated as the time from the last day of the last menstruation which is about 2 weeks before ovulation and fertilization. Pregnancy: Diagnosis, Physiology, and Care (WGA).
  • Gestational hypertension Hypertension Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common disease that manifests as elevated systemic arterial pressures. Hypertension is most often asymptomatic and is found incidentally as part of a routine physical examination or during triage for an unrelated medical encounter. Hypertension is hypertension Hypertension Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common disease that manifests as elevated systemic arterial pressures. Hypertension is most often asymptomatic and is found incidentally as part of a routine physical examination or during triage for an unrelated medical encounter. Hypertension diagnosed at ≥ 20 WGA when BP was previously normal.
  • Preeclampsia/eclampsia/HELLP is a spectrum of gestational hypertension Hypertension Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common disease that manifests as elevated systemic arterial pressures. Hypertension is most often asymptomatic and is found incidentally as part of a routine physical examination or during triage for an unrelated medical encounter. Hypertension with proteinuria Proteinuria The presence of proteins in the urine, an indicator of kidney diseases. Nephrotic Syndrome in Children and/or end-organ damage:
    • Preeclampsia without severe features: 
      • Previously referred to as “mild preeclampsia”
      • Gestational hypertension Hypertension Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common disease that manifests as elevated systemic arterial pressures. Hypertension is most often asymptomatic and is found incidentally as part of a routine physical examination or during triage for an unrelated medical encounter. Hypertension with proteinuria Proteinuria The presence of proteins in the urine, an indicator of kidney diseases. Nephrotic Syndrome in Children
      • No signs or symptoms suggesting end-organ damage
    • Preeclampsia with severe features:
      • Previously referred to as “severe preeclampsia”
      • Gestational hypertension Hypertension Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common disease that manifests as elevated systemic arterial pressures. Hypertension is most often asymptomatic and is found incidentally as part of a routine physical examination or during triage for an unrelated medical encounter. Hypertension with additional symptoms or lab findings suggesting end-organ damage
    • Eclampsia: preeclampsia with seizures Seizures A seizure is abnormal electrical activity of the neurons in the cerebral cortex that can manifest in numerous ways depending on the region of the brain affected. Seizures consist of a sudden imbalance that occurs between the excitatory and inhibitory signals in cortical neurons, creating a net excitation. The 2 major classes of seizures are focal and generalized. Seizures
  • HELLP syndrome: preeclampsia with hemolysis, low platelets Platelets Platelets are small cell fragments involved in hemostasis. Thrombopoiesis takes place primarily in the bone marrow through a series of cell differentiation and is influenced by several cytokines. Platelets are formed after fragmentation of the megakaryocyte cytoplasm. Platelets: Histology, and/or liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy dysfunction

Epidemiology

  • Hypertensive disorders complicate 5%–10% of pregnancies.
  • Chronic hypertension Hypertension Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common disease that manifests as elevated systemic arterial pressures. Hypertension is most often asymptomatic and is found incidentally as part of a routine physical examination or during triage for an unrelated medical encounter. Hypertension:
    • Occurs in 1% of pregnancies
    • 20%–25% of women with chronic hypertension Hypertension Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common disease that manifests as elevated systemic arterial pressures. Hypertension is most often asymptomatic and is found incidentally as part of a routine physical examination or during triage for an unrelated medical encounter. Hypertension develop preeclampsia during pregnancy Pregnancy The status during which female mammals carry their developing young (embryos or fetuses) in utero before birth, beginning from fertilization to birth. Pregnancy: Diagnosis, Physiology, and Care.
  • Gestational hypertension Hypertension Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common disease that manifests as elevated systemic arterial pressures. Hypertension is most often asymptomatic and is found incidentally as part of a routine physical examination or during triage for an unrelated medical encounter. Hypertension: occurs in 5%–6% of pregnancies 
  • Preeclampsia/eclampsia/HELLP:
    • Occurs in 2%–8% of all pregnancies
    • Incidence Incidence The number of new cases of a given disease during a given period in a specified population. It also is used for the rate at which new events occur in a defined population. It is differentiated from prevalence, which refers to all cases in the population at a given time. Measures of Disease Frequency is 1.5–2 times higher in 1st pregnancies.
  • 70% of women having an eclamptic seizure will suffer from maternal complications, with morbidity Morbidity The proportion of patients with a particular disease during a given year per given unit of population. Measures of Health Status reaching up to 14%.

Risk factors

High risk factors: 

  • History of preeclampsia
  • Situations which reduce uteroplacental blood flow Blood flow Blood flow refers to the movement of a certain volume of blood through the vasculature over a given unit of time (e.g., mL per minute). Vascular Resistance, Flow, and Mean Arterial Pressure and/or cause vascular disease:
    • History of chronic hypertension Hypertension Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common disease that manifests as elevated systemic arterial pressures. Hypertension is most often asymptomatic and is found incidentally as part of a routine physical examination or during triage for an unrelated medical encounter. Hypertension
    • Diabetes Diabetes Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a metabolic disease characterized by hyperglycemia and dysfunction of the regulation of glucose metabolism by insulin. Type 1 DM is diagnosed mostly in children and young adults as the result of autoimmune destruction of β cells in the pancreas and the resulting lack of insulin. Type 2 DM has a significant association with obesity and is characterized by insulin resistance. Diabetes Mellitus
    • Renal disease
    • Autoimmune disease
  • Multiple gestation

Moderate risk factors: 

  • Nulliparity
  • > 10 years between pregnancies
  • BMI BMI An indicator of body density as determined by the relationship of body weight to body height. Bmi=weight (kg)/height squared (m2). Bmi correlates with body fat (adipose tissue). Their relationship varies with age and gender. For adults, bmi falls into these categories: below 18. 5 (underweight); 18. 5-24. 9 (normal); 25. 0-29. 9 (overweight); 30. 0 and above (obese). Obesity > 30
  • Low socioeconomic status
  • African American race
  • Family history Family History Adult Health Maintenance of preeclampsia in 1st-degree relative
  • Advanced maternal age (≥ 35 years at time of delivery)
  • Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR)

Pathophysiology

Hypertension Hypertension Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common disease that manifests as elevated systemic arterial pressures. Hypertension is most often asymptomatic and is found incidentally as part of a routine physical examination or during triage for an unrelated medical encounter. Hypertension in pregnancy Pregnancy The status during which female mammals carry their developing young (embryos or fetuses) in utero before birth, beginning from fertilization to birth. Pregnancy: Diagnosis, Physiology, and Care

The complete pathophysiology of hypertensive disorders in pregnancy Pregnancy The status during which female mammals carry their developing young (embryos or fetuses) in utero before birth, beginning from fertilization to birth. Pregnancy: Diagnosis, Physiology, and Care is not completely understood, but most theories involve a problem with cytotrophoblastic endothelial invasion.

Hypertension in pregnancy

Suspected pathophysiology of hypertension Hypertension Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common disease that manifests as elevated systemic arterial pressures. Hypertension is most often asymptomatic and is found incidentally as part of a routine physical examination or during triage for an unrelated medical encounter. Hypertension in pregnancy Pregnancy The status during which female mammals carry their developing young (embryos or fetuses) in utero before birth, beginning from fertilization to birth. Pregnancy: Diagnosis, Physiology, and Care

Image by Lecturio. License: CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

Preeclampsia and HELLP syndrome

  • Suspected pathogenesis of preeclampsia:
    • Defective spiral Spiral Computed tomography where there is continuous x-ray exposure to the patient while being transported in a spiral or helical pattern through the beam of irradiation. This provides improved three-dimensional contrast and spatial resolution compared to conventional computed tomography, where data is obtained and computed from individual sequential exposures. Computed Tomography (CT) artery remodeling in the endometrium Endometrium The mucous membrane lining of the uterine cavity that is hormonally responsive during the menstrual cycle and pregnancy. The endometrium undergoes cyclic changes that characterize menstruation. After successful fertilization, it serves to sustain the developing embryo. Embryoblast and Trophoblast Development→ 
    • Placental hypoperfusion → 
    • Release Release Release of a virus from the host cell following virus assembly and maturation. Egress can occur by host cell lysis, exocytosis, or budding through the plasma membrane. Virology of numerous factors from the placenta Placenta A highly vascularized mammalian fetal-maternal organ and major site of transport of oxygen, nutrients, and fetal waste products. It includes a fetal portion (chorionic villi) derived from trophoblasts and a maternal portion (decidua) derived from the uterine endometrium. The placenta produces an array of steroid, protein and peptide hormones (placental hormones). Placenta, Umbilical Cord, and Amniotic Cavity into maternal circulation Circulation The movement of the blood as it is pumped through the cardiovascular system. ABCDE Assessment → 
    • Systemic vasoconstriction Vasoconstriction The physiological narrowing of blood vessels by contraction of the vascular smooth muscle. Vascular Resistance, Flow, and Mean Arterial Pressure and endothelial dysfunction → 
    • Hypertension Hypertension Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common disease that manifests as elevated systemic arterial pressures. Hypertension is most often asymptomatic and is found incidentally as part of a routine physical examination or during triage for an unrelated medical encounter. Hypertension → 
    • Proteinuria Proteinuria The presence of proteins in the urine, an indicator of kidney diseases. Nephrotic Syndrome in Children and/or end-organ damage
  • HELLP is an extension Extension Examination of the Upper Limbs of preeclampsia
    • May be closely related to atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome Hemolytic uremic syndrome A syndrome that is associated with microvascular diseases of the kidney, such as renal cortical necrosis. It is characterized by hemolytic anemia; thrombocytopenia; and acute renal failure. Hypocoagulable Conditions
    • Suspected pathogenesis of HELLP:
      • Endothelial injury with fibrin Fibrin A protein derived from fibrinogen in the presence of thrombin, which forms part of the blood clot. Rapidly Progressive Glomerulonephritis deposits → 
      • Thrombotic microangiopathy →  
      • Microangiopathic hemolytic anemia Anemia Anemia is a condition in which individuals have low Hb levels, which can arise from various causes. Anemia is accompanied by a reduced number of RBCs and may manifest with fatigue, shortness of breath, pallor, and weakness. Subtypes are classified by the size of RBCs, chronicity, and etiology. Anemia: Overview and Types (MAHA) + liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy inflammation Inflammation Inflammation is a complex set of responses to infection and injury involving leukocytes as the principal cellular mediators in the body’s defense against pathogenic organisms. Inflammation is also seen as a response to tissue injury in the process of wound healing. The 5 cardinal signs of inflammation are pain, heat, redness, swelling, and loss of function. Inflammation + platelet-activation and consumption → 
      • Thrombocytopenia Thrombocytopenia Thrombocytopenia occurs when the platelet count is < 150,000 per microliter. The normal range for platelets is usually 150,000-450,000/µL of whole blood. Thrombocytopenia can be a result of decreased production, increased destruction, or splenic sequestration of platelets. Patients are often asymptomatic until platelet counts are < 50,000/µL. Thrombocytopenia + elevated liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy enzymes Enzymes Enzymes are complex protein biocatalysts that accelerate chemical reactions without being consumed by them. Due to the body’s constant metabolic needs, the absence of enzymes would make life unsustainable, as reactions would occur too slowly without these molecules. Basics of Enzymes

Eclampsia

  • Poorly understood, but commonly thought to be multifactorial
  • Seizures Seizures A seizure is abnormal electrical activity of the neurons in the cerebral cortex that can manifest in numerous ways depending on the region of the brain affected. Seizures consist of a sudden imbalance that occurs between the excitatory and inhibitory signals in cortical neurons, creating a net excitation. The 2 major classes of seizures are focal and generalized. Seizures are thought to be caused by cerebral vasospasm and cerebral edema Cerebral edema Increased intracellular or extracellular fluid in brain tissue. Cytotoxic brain edema (swelling due to increased intracellular fluid) is indicative of a disturbance in cell metabolism, and is commonly associated with hypoxic or ischemic injuries. An increase in extracellular fluid may be caused by increased brain capillary permeability (vasogenic edema), an osmotic gradient, local blockages in interstitial fluid pathways, or by obstruction of CSF flow (e.g., obstructive hydrocephalus). Increased Intracranial Pressure (ICP)
  • Hypertensive encephalopathy Hypertensive encephalopathy Brain dysfunction or damage resulting from sustained malignant hypertension. When blood pressure exceeds the limits of cerebral autoregulation, cerebral blood flow is impaired (brain ischemia). Clinical manifestations include headache; nausea; vomiting; seizures; altered mental status (in some cases progressing to coma); papilledema; and retinal hemorrhage. High-Risk Headaches may also play a role.

Clinical Presentation and Diagnosis

The disorders are all diagnosed using defined clinical criteria. The criteria includes timing of presentation, BP, presence or absence of proteinuria Proteinuria The presence of proteins in the urine, an indicator of kidney diseases. Nephrotic Syndrome in Children, and the presence of symptoms or lab findings suggestive of end-organ damage.

Chronic hypertension Hypertension Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common disease that manifests as elevated systemic arterial pressures. Hypertension is most often asymptomatic and is found incidentally as part of a routine physical examination or during triage for an unrelated medical encounter. Hypertension

  • Asymptomatic
  • BP criteria:
    • Systolic BP ≥ 140 mm MM Multiple myeloma (MM) is a malignant condition of plasma cells (activated B lymphocytes) primarily seen in the elderly. Monoclonal proliferation of plasma cells results in cytokine-driven osteoclastic activity and excessive secretion of IgG antibodies. Multiple Myeloma Hg and/or 
    • Diastolic BP ≥ 90 mm MM Multiple myeloma (MM) is a malignant condition of plasma cells (activated B lymphocytes) primarily seen in the elderly. Monoclonal proliferation of plasma cells results in cytokine-driven osteoclastic activity and excessive secretion of IgG antibodies. Multiple Myeloma Hg 
    • Measured on 2 separate occasions, at least 4 hours apart
  • Begins before 20 WGA
  • Often exists prior to pregnancy Pregnancy The status during which female mammals carry their developing young (embryos or fetuses) in utero before birth, beginning from fertilization to birth. Pregnancy: Diagnosis, Physiology, and Care
  • No new proteinuria Proteinuria The presence of proteins in the urine, an indicator of kidney diseases. Nephrotic Syndrome in Children or end-organ damage
  • Individuals may develop superimposed preeclampsia if there is a significant increase in BP or evidence of new end-organ damage.

Gestational hypertension Hypertension Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common disease that manifests as elevated systemic arterial pressures. Hypertension is most often asymptomatic and is found incidentally as part of a routine physical examination or during triage for an unrelated medical encounter. Hypertension

  • Asymptomatic
  • Systolic BP ≥ 140 mm MM Multiple myeloma (MM) is a malignant condition of plasma cells (activated B lymphocytes) primarily seen in the elderly. Monoclonal proliferation of plasma cells results in cytokine-driven osteoclastic activity and excessive secretion of IgG antibodies. Multiple Myeloma Hg and/or diastolic BP ≥ 90 mm MM Multiple myeloma (MM) is a malignant condition of plasma cells (activated B lymphocytes) primarily seen in the elderly. Monoclonal proliferation of plasma cells results in cytokine-driven osteoclastic activity and excessive secretion of IgG antibodies. Multiple Myeloma Hg 
  • Begins during or after 20 WGA
  • No history of preexisting hypertension Hypertension Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common disease that manifests as elevated systemic arterial pressures. Hypertension is most often asymptomatic and is found incidentally as part of a routine physical examination or during triage for an unrelated medical encounter. Hypertension
  • No proteinuria Proteinuria The presence of proteins in the urine, an indicator of kidney diseases. Nephrotic Syndrome in Children or end-organ damage

Preeclampsia WITHOUT severe features

Gestational hypertension Hypertension Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common disease that manifests as elevated systemic arterial pressures. Hypertension is most often asymptomatic and is found incidentally as part of a routine physical examination or during triage for an unrelated medical encounter. Hypertension with proteinuria Proteinuria The presence of proteins in the urine, an indicator of kidney diseases. Nephrotic Syndrome in Children:

  • Asymptomatic
  • Occurs between 20 WGA and up to 6 weeks postpartum.
  • Hypertension Hypertension Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common disease that manifests as elevated systemic arterial pressures. Hypertension is most often asymptomatic and is found incidentally as part of a routine physical examination or during triage for an unrelated medical encounter. Hypertension criteria (on 2 readings, at least 4 hours apart):
    • Systolic BP ≥ 140 mm MM Multiple myeloma (MM) is a malignant condition of plasma cells (activated B lymphocytes) primarily seen in the elderly. Monoclonal proliferation of plasma cells results in cytokine-driven osteoclastic activity and excessive secretion of IgG antibodies. Multiple Myeloma Hg, but < 160 mm MM Multiple myeloma (MM) is a malignant condition of plasma cells (activated B lymphocytes) primarily seen in the elderly. Monoclonal proliferation of plasma cells results in cytokine-driven osteoclastic activity and excessive secretion of IgG antibodies. Multiple Myeloma Hg; and/or
    • Diastolic BP ≥ 90 mm MM Multiple myeloma (MM) is a malignant condition of plasma cells (activated B lymphocytes) primarily seen in the elderly. Monoclonal proliferation of plasma cells results in cytokine-driven osteoclastic activity and excessive secretion of IgG antibodies. Multiple Myeloma Hg, but < 110 mm MM Multiple myeloma (MM) is a malignant condition of plasma cells (activated B lymphocytes) primarily seen in the elderly. Monoclonal proliferation of plasma cells results in cytokine-driven osteoclastic activity and excessive secretion of IgG antibodies. Multiple Myeloma Hg
  • Proteinuria Proteinuria The presence of proteins in the urine, an indicator of kidney diseases. Nephrotic Syndrome in Children criteria:
    • 24-hour urine collection ≥ 300 mg protein or
    • Single voided urine protein/creatinine ratio ≥ 0.3
    • Dipstick reading of ≥ 2+ (use only if other quantitative methods not available)

Preeclampsia WITH severe features

Gestational hypertension Hypertension Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common disease that manifests as elevated systemic arterial pressures. Hypertension is most often asymptomatic and is found incidentally as part of a routine physical examination or during triage for an unrelated medical encounter. Hypertension with even higher BP readings and/or signs/symptoms of end-organ damage:

  • Frequently (but not always) symptomatic
  • Occurs between 20 WGA and up to 6 weeks postpartum
  • Diagnostic criteria #1: “severe range” BP with proteinuria Proteinuria The presence of proteins in the urine, an indicator of kidney diseases. Nephrotic Syndrome in Children (same proteinuria Proteinuria The presence of proteins in the urine, an indicator of kidney diseases. Nephrotic Syndrome in Children criteria as above):
    • Systolic BP ≥ 160 mm MM Multiple myeloma (MM) is a malignant condition of plasma cells (activated B lymphocytes) primarily seen in the elderly. Monoclonal proliferation of plasma cells results in cytokine-driven osteoclastic activity and excessive secretion of IgG antibodies. Multiple Myeloma Hg; and/or 
    • Diastolic BP ≥ 110 mm MM Multiple myeloma (MM) is a malignant condition of plasma cells (activated B lymphocytes) primarily seen in the elderly. Monoclonal proliferation of plasma cells results in cytokine-driven osteoclastic activity and excessive secretion of IgG antibodies. Multiple Myeloma Hg 
    • Do not need to wait 4 hours to confirm diagnosis prior to starting therapy
  • Diagnostic criteria #2: “mild range” BP (140‒160 mm MM Multiple myeloma (MM) is a malignant condition of plasma cells (activated B lymphocytes) primarily seen in the elderly. Monoclonal proliferation of plasma cells results in cytokine-driven osteoclastic activity and excessive secretion of IgG antibodies. Multiple Myeloma Hg/90‒110 mm MM Multiple myeloma (MM) is a malignant condition of plasma cells (activated B lymphocytes) primarily seen in the elderly. Monoclonal proliferation of plasma cells results in cytokine-driven osteoclastic activity and excessive secretion of IgG antibodies. Multiple Myeloma Hg) and at least 1 of the following criteria (signs/symptoms of potential end-organ damage) with or without proteinuria Proteinuria The presence of proteins in the urine, an indicator of kidney diseases. Nephrotic Syndrome in Children:
    • Lab criteria:
      • Thrombocytopenia Thrombocytopenia Thrombocytopenia occurs when the platelet count is < 150,000 per microliter. The normal range for platelets is usually 150,000-450,000/µL of whole blood. Thrombocytopenia can be a result of decreased production, increased destruction, or splenic sequestration of platelets. Patients are often asymptomatic until platelet counts are < 50,000/µL. Thrombocytopenia ( platelets Platelets Platelets are small cell fragments involved in hemostasis. Thrombopoiesis takes place primarily in the bone marrow through a series of cell differentiation and is influenced by several cytokines. Platelets are formed after fragmentation of the megakaryocyte cytoplasm. Platelets: Histology < 100,000) 
      • Impaired liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy function ( AST AST Enzymes of the transferase class that catalyze the conversion of l-aspartate and 2-ketoglutarate to oxaloacetate and l-glutamate. Liver Function Tests/ ALT ALT An enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of l-alanine and 2-oxoglutarate to pyruvate and l-glutamate. Liver Function Tests > 2x the upper limit Limit A value (e.g., pressure or time) that should not be exceeded and which is specified by the operator to protect the lung Invasive Mechanical Ventilation of normal)
      • Renal insufficiency (baseline creatinine is doubled or > 1.1 mg/dL) 
    • Cerebral symptoms:
    • Visual symptoms 
      • Scotomata
      • Photophobia Photophobia Abnormal sensitivity to light. This may occur as a manifestation of eye diseases; migraine; subarachnoid hemorrhage; meningitis; and other disorders. Photophobia may also occur in association with depression and other mental disorders. Migraine Headache
      • Blurred vision Vision Ophthalmic Exam
      • Temporary blindness Blindness The inability to see or the loss or absence of perception of visual stimuli. This condition may be the result of eye diseases; optic nerve diseases; optic chiasm diseases; or brain diseases affecting the visual pathways or occipital lobe. Retinopathy of Prematurity
    • Pulmonary edema Edema Edema is a condition in which excess serous fluid accumulates in the body cavity or interstitial space of connective tissues. Edema is a symptom observed in several medical conditions. It can be categorized into 2 types, namely, peripheral (in the extremities) and internal (in an organ or body cavity). Edema: presents with dyspnea Dyspnea Dyspnea is the subjective sensation of breathing discomfort. Dyspnea is a normal manifestation of heavy physical or psychological exertion, but also may be caused by underlying conditions (both pulmonary and extrapulmonary). Dyspnea; confirmed on chest x-ray Chest X-ray X-ray visualization of the chest and organs of the thoracic cavity. It is not restricted to visualization of the lungs. Pulmonary Function Tests
    • RUQ and/or epigastric pain Epigastric pain Mallory-Weiss Syndrome (Mallory-Weiss Tear)
  • Other potential findings (nondiagnostic):
    • Peripheral edema Edema Edema is a condition in which excess serous fluid accumulates in the body cavity or interstitial space of connective tissues. Edema is a symptom observed in several medical conditions. It can be categorized into 2 types, namely, peripheral (in the extremities) and internal (in an organ or body cavity). Edema
    • Nausea Nausea An unpleasant sensation in the stomach usually accompanied by the urge to vomit. Common causes are early pregnancy, sea and motion sickness, emotional stress, intense pain, food poisoning, and various enteroviruses. Antiemetics/ vomiting Vomiting The forcible expulsion of the contents of the stomach through the mouth. Hypokalemia
    • Oliguria Oliguria Decreased urine output that is below the normal range. Oliguria can be defined as urine output of less than or equal to 0. 5 or 1 ml/kg/hr depending on the age. Renal Potassium Regulation
    • Stroke
Timing of onset of preeclampsia

Timing of onset of preeclampsia

Image by Lecturio. License: CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

Eclampsia

  • A convulsive manifestation of pregnancy-related hypertensive disorders.
  • Seizures Seizures A seizure is abnormal electrical activity of the neurons in the cerebral cortex that can manifest in numerous ways depending on the region of the brain affected. Seizures consist of a sudden imbalance that occurs between the excitatory and inhibitory signals in cortical neurons, creating a net excitation. The 2 major classes of seizures are focal and generalized. Seizures may be:
  • Seizures Seizures A seizure is abnormal electrical activity of the neurons in the cerebral cortex that can manifest in numerous ways depending on the region of the brain affected. Seizures consist of a sudden imbalance that occurs between the excitatory and inhibitory signals in cortical neurons, creating a net excitation. The 2 major classes of seizures are focal and generalized. Seizures are often preceded by premonitory signs (e.g., headaches, vision Vision Ophthalmic Exam changes)
  • Over ⅓ of individuals do not demonstrate classic preeclampsia findings prior to the 1st seizure event
  • The same potential symptoms as preeclampsia with severe features

HELLP syndrome

A severe form of preeclampsia with:

  • Hemolysis
  • Elevated Liver enzymes Enzymes Enzymes are complex protein biocatalysts that accelerate chemical reactions without being consumed by them. Due to the body’s constant metabolic needs, the absence of enzymes would make life unsustainable, as reactions would occur too slowly without these molecules. Basics of Enzymes
    • Symptoms:
      • RUQ pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways
      • Nausea Nausea An unpleasant sensation in the stomach usually accompanied by the urge to vomit. Common causes are early pregnancy, sea and motion sickness, emotional stress, intense pain, food poisoning, and various enteroviruses. Antiemetics and vomiting Vomiting The forcible expulsion of the contents of the stomach through the mouth. Hypokalemia
    • Lab findings: ↑ AST AST Enzymes of the transferase class that catalyze the conversion of l-aspartate and 2-ketoglutarate to oxaloacetate and l-glutamate. Liver Function Tests and/or AST AST Enzymes of the transferase class that catalyze the conversion of l-aspartate and 2-ketoglutarate to oxaloacetate and l-glutamate. Liver Function Tests (> 2x the upper limit Limit A value (e.g., pressure or time) that should not be exceeded and which is specified by the operator to protect the lung Invasive Mechanical Ventilation of normal)
    • May cause hepatic hematoma Hematoma A collection of blood outside the blood vessels. Hematoma can be localized in an organ, space, or tissue. Intussusception that ruptures → hemoperitoneum
  • Low Platelets: 
    • Symptoms: Clinical bleeding is possible but uncommon.
    • Lab findings: Thrombocytopenia Thrombocytopenia Thrombocytopenia occurs when the platelet count is < 150,000 per microliter. The normal range for platelets is usually 150,000-450,000/µL of whole blood. Thrombocytopenia can be a result of decreased production, increased destruction, or splenic sequestration of platelets. Patients are often asymptomatic until platelet counts are < 50,000/µL. Thrombocytopenia (< 100,000)

For the wards: practical clinical assessment

To look for hypertensive pregnancy Pregnancy The status during which female mammals carry their developing young (embryos or fetuses) in utero before birth, beginning from fertilization to birth. Pregnancy: Diagnosis, Physiology, and Care disorders in the clinic or an emergency setting:

  • Check BP. 
  • Ask about the key “preeclampsia symptoms”:
    • Headaches
    • Shortness of breath Shortness of breath Dyspnea is the subjective sensation of breathing discomfort. Dyspnea is a normal manifestation of heavy physical or psychological exertion, but also may be caused by underlying conditions (both pulmonary and extrapulmonary). Dyspnea
    • Visual changes
    • RUQ pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways
  • Order preeclampsia labs:
    • Urine protein:creatinine ratio on a random urine sample
    • CBC
    • LDH LDH Osteosarcoma
    • Liver function tests Liver function tests Liver function tests, also known as hepatic function panels, are one of the most commonly performed screening blood tests. Such tests are also used to detect, evaluate, and monitor acute and chronic liver diseases. Liver Function Tests: AST AST Enzymes of the transferase class that catalyze the conversion of l-aspartate and 2-ketoglutarate to oxaloacetate and l-glutamate. Liver Function Tests, ALT ALT An enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of l-alanine and 2-oxoglutarate to pyruvate and l-glutamate. Liver Function Tests
    • Renal function tests: creatinine
  • Confirm fetal well-being, typically with a nonstress test (NST).
  • Begin a 24-hour urine collection if diagnosis is unclear.

Management

The definitive treatment of gestational hypertension Hypertension Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common disease that manifests as elevated systemic arterial pressures. Hypertension is most often asymptomatic and is found incidentally as part of a routine physical examination or during triage for an unrelated medical encounter. Hypertension, preeclampsia, eclampsia, and HELLP is delivery.

Prevention

  • Used when 1 high-risk factor or ≥ 2 moderate-risk factors are present
  • Prophylaxis Prophylaxis Cephalosporins with 81 mg aspirin Aspirin The prototypical analgesic used in the treatment of mild to moderate pain. It has anti-inflammatory and antipyretic properties and acts as an inhibitor of cyclooxygenase which results in the inhibition of the biosynthesis of prostaglandins. Aspirin also inhibits platelet aggregation and is used in the prevention of arterial and venous thrombosis. Nonsteroidal Antiinflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) starting between 12 and 28 weeks and continued until delivery.

Blood pressure management

Blood pressure should be controlled with antihypertensive agents:

  • 1st-line therapies for BP control include:
  • Nitroglycerin Nitroglycerin A volatile vasodilator which relieves angina pectoris by stimulating guanylate cyclase and lowering cytosolic calcium. It is also sometimes used for tocolysis and explosives. Nitrates can be used in pulmonary edema Edema Edema is a condition in which excess serous fluid accumulates in the body cavity or interstitial space of connective tissues. Edema is a symptom observed in several medical conditions. It can be categorized into 2 types, namely, peripheral (in the extremities) and internal (in an organ or body cavity). Edema.
  • Teratogenic BP medications (contraindicated in pregnancy Pregnancy The status during which female mammals carry their developing young (embryos or fetuses) in utero before birth, beginning from fertilization to birth. Pregnancy: Diagnosis, Physiology, and Care):
    • ACEis ACEIs A class of drugs whose main indications are the treatment of hypertension and heart failure. They exert their hemodynamic effect mainly by inhibiting the renin-angiotensin system. They also modulate sympathetic nervous system activity and increase prostaglandin synthesis. They cause mainly vasodilation and mild natriuresis without affecting heart rate and contractility. Heart Failure and Angina Medication
    • ARBs ARBs Agents that antagonize angiotensin receptors. Many drugs in this class specifically target the angiotensin type 1 receptor. Heart Failure and Angina Medication
    • Mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists Mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists Drugs that bind to and block the activation of mineralocorticoid receptors by mineralocorticoids such as aldosterone. Potassium-sparing Diuretics

Antepartum management

  • Exact protocols vary depending on the diagnosis and gestational age Gestational age The age of the conceptus, beginning from the time of fertilization. In clinical obstetrics, the gestational age is often estimated as the time from the last day of the last menstruation which is about 2 weeks before ovulation and fertilization. Pregnancy: Diagnosis, Physiology, and Care.
  • Tests for fetal well-being:
    • Serial NSTs
    • Serial ultrasounds for:
      • Fetal growth 
      • Doppler Doppler Ultrasonography applying the doppler effect, with frequency-shifted ultrasound reflections produced by moving targets (usually red blood cells) in the bloodstream along the ultrasound axis in direct proportion to the velocity of movement of the targets, to determine both direction and velocity of blood flow. Ultrasound (Sonography) assessment of placental blood flow Blood flow Blood flow refers to the movement of a certain volume of blood through the vasculature over a given unit of time (e.g., mL per minute). Vascular Resistance, Flow, and Mean Arterial Pressure
      • Assessment of amniotic fluid Amniotic fluid A clear, yellowish liquid that envelopes the fetus inside the sac of amnion. In the first trimester, it is likely a transudate of maternal or fetal plasma. In the second trimester, amniotic fluid derives primarily from fetal lung and kidney. Cells or substances in this fluid can be removed for prenatal diagnostic tests (amniocentesis). Placenta, Umbilical Cord, and Amniotic Cavity volume
  • Regular Regular Insulin assessments for disease progression:
    • BP
    • Asking individual about development of the key preeclampsia symptoms
    • Preeclampsia labs

Timing of delivery

The timing is dictated by BP control and disease severity. In general, individuals should deliver (either by induction of labor Labor Labor is the normal physiologic process defined as uterine contractions resulting in dilatation and effacement of the cervix, which culminates in expulsion of the fetus and the products of conception. Normal and Abnormal Labor or cesarean delivery Cesarean Delivery Cesarean delivery (CD) is the operative delivery of ≥ 1 infants through a surgical incision in the maternal abdomen and uterus. Cesarean deliveries may be indicated for a number of either maternal or fetal reasons, most commonly including fetal intolerance to labor, arrest of labor, a history of prior uterine surgery, fetal malpresentation, and placental abnormalities. Cesarean Delivery (CD) for standard obstetric indications) at the following times:

  • Chronic hypertension Hypertension Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common disease that manifests as elevated systemic arterial pressures. Hypertension is most often asymptomatic and is found incidentally as part of a routine physical examination or during triage for an unrelated medical encounter. Hypertension: 37‒40 WGA
  • Gestational hypertension Hypertension Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common disease that manifests as elevated systemic arterial pressures. Hypertension is most often asymptomatic and is found incidentally as part of a routine physical examination or during triage for an unrelated medical encounter. Hypertension and preeclampsia without severe features: 37 WGA
  • Preeclampsia with severe features and HELLP syndrome:
    • At the time of diagnosis if ≥ 34 WGA
    • Based on clinical judgment Judgment The process of discovering or asserting an objective or intrinsic relation between two objects or concepts; a faculty or power that enables a person to make judgments; the process of bringing to light and asserting the implicit meaning of a concept; a critical evaluation of a person or situation. Psychiatric Assessment if < 34 WGA
  • Eclampsia: at the time of diagnosis, regardless of gestational age Gestational age The age of the conceptus, beginning from the time of fertilization. In clinical obstetrics, the gestational age is often estimated as the time from the last day of the last menstruation which is about 2 weeks before ovulation and fertilization. Pregnancy: Diagnosis, Physiology, and Care
  • Note: If preterm delivery is anticipated, a course of corticosteroids Corticosteroids Chorioretinitis is indicated to promote fetal lung maturity.

Intrapartum management

In all patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship:

  • Standard obstetric intrapartum management
  • Continuous fetal cardiotocographic monitoring
  • Careful attention Attention Focusing on certain aspects of current experience to the exclusion of others. It is the act of heeding or taking notice or concentrating. Psychiatric Assessment to fluid administration → patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship are at ↑ risk for pulmonary edema Edema Edema is a condition in which excess serous fluid accumulates in the body cavity or interstitial space of connective tissues. Edema is a symptom observed in several medical conditions. It can be categorized into 2 types, namely, peripheral (in the extremities) and internal (in an organ or body cavity). Edema
  • Monitor and treat “severe range” BPs with IV antihypertensives Antihypertensives The 1st-line medication classes for hypertension include thiazide-like diuretics, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEis), angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs), and calcium channel blockers (CCBS). Contraindications, adverse effects, and drug-to-drug interactions are agent specific. Hypertension Drugs:

Seizure prophylaxis Prophylaxis Cephalosporins:

  • Indicated in:
    • Preeclampsia with severe features
    • HELLP syndrome
    • Eclampsia
  • Generally not indicated in:
    • Chronic hypertension Hypertension Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common disease that manifests as elevated systemic arterial pressures. Hypertension is most often asymptomatic and is found incidentally as part of a routine physical examination or during triage for an unrelated medical encounter. Hypertension
    • Gestational hypertension Hypertension Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common disease that manifests as elevated systemic arterial pressures. Hypertension is most often asymptomatic and is found incidentally as part of a routine physical examination or during triage for an unrelated medical encounter. Hypertension
    • Preeclampsia without severe features
  • Medication: magnesium Magnesium A metallic element that has the atomic symbol mg, atomic number 12, and atomic weight 24. 31. It is important for the activity of many enzymes, especially those involved in oxidative phosphorylation. Electrolytes sulfate as a continuous IV infusion
    • Contraindications Contraindications A condition or factor associated with a recipient that makes the use of a drug, procedure, or physical agent improper or inadvisable. Contraindications may be absolute (life threatening) or relative (higher risk of complications in which benefits may outweigh risks). Noninvasive Ventilation: myasthenia gravis Myasthenia Gravis Myasthenia gravis (MG) is an autoimmune neuromuscular disorder characterized by weakness and fatigability of skeletal muscles caused by dysfunction/destruction of acetylcholine receptors at the neuromuscular junction. MG presents with fatigue, ptosis, diplopia, dysphagia, respiratory difficulties, and progressive weakness in the limbs, leading to difficulty in movement. Myasthenia Gravis
    • Therapeutic range: magnesium Magnesium A metallic element that has the atomic symbol mg, atomic number 12, and atomic weight 24. 31. It is important for the activity of many enzymes, especially those involved in oxidative phosphorylation. Electrolytes levels of 4.8‒8.4 mg/dL
    • Requires dosing adjustment in renal insufficiency
    • Signs/symptoms of magnesium Magnesium A metallic element that has the atomic symbol mg, atomic number 12, and atomic weight 24. 31. It is important for the activity of many enzymes, especially those involved in oxidative phosphorylation. Electrolytes toxicity Toxicity Dosage Calculation:
      • Loss of deep tendon reflexes Deep Tendon Reflexes Neurological Examination (occurs at 8.5‒12 mg/dL)
      • Difficulty breathing (pulmonary paralysis occurs at 12‒16 mg/dL)
      • Cardiac arrest Cardiac arrest Cardiac arrest is the sudden, complete cessation of cardiac output with hemodynamic collapse. Patients present as pulseless, unresponsive, and apneic. Rhythms associated with cardiac arrest are ventricular fibrillation/tachycardia, asystole, or pulseless electrical activity. Cardiac Arrest (occurs at > 30 mg/dL)
    • Antidote Antidote An antidote is a substance that counteracts poisoning or toxicity. Substances that can cause poisoning include heavy metals (from occupation, treatments, or diet), alcohols, environmental toxins, and medications. Antidotes of Common Poisonings: calcium Calcium A basic element found in nearly all tissues. It is a member of the alkaline earth family of metals with the atomic symbol ca, atomic number 20, and atomic weight 40. Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body and combines with phosphorus to form calcium phosphate in the bones and teeth. It is essential for the normal functioning of nerves and muscles and plays a role in blood coagulation (as factor IV) and in many enzymatic processes. Electrolytes gluconate

Management of eclampsia

  • Maternal care:
    • Place patient in the lateral position
    • Give supplemental O2
    • Protect patient from trauma (e.g., raise bed rails)
    • Treat severe hypertension Severe hypertension A confirmed blood pressure ≥ 180 mm Hg systolic and/or ≥ 120 mm Hg diastolic. Uncontrolled Hypertension (if present) with IV antihypertensives Antihypertensives The 1st-line medication classes for hypertension include thiazide-like diuretics, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEis), angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs), and calcium channel blockers (CCBS). Contraindications, adverse effects, and drug-to-drug interactions are agent specific. Hypertension Drugs
  • Magnesium Magnesium A metallic element that has the atomic symbol mg, atomic number 12, and atomic weight 24. 31. It is important for the activity of many enzymes, especially those involved in oxidative phosphorylation. Electrolytes sulfate (IV if access is available, IM if no IV access)
  • Immediate initiation of delivery
  • Route (induction of labor Labor Labor is the normal physiologic process defined as uterine contractions resulting in dilatation and effacement of the cervix, which culminates in expulsion of the fetus and the products of conception. Normal and Abnormal Labor vs. CD) depends on the stability of the mother, gestational age Gestational age The age of the conceptus, beginning from the time of fertilization. In clinical obstetrics, the gestational age is often estimated as the time from the last day of the last menstruation which is about 2 weeks before ovulation and fertilization. Pregnancy: Diagnosis, Physiology, and Care, assessments of fetal wellbeing, and the overall clinical situation
  • Note: Fetal bradycardia Bradycardia Bradyarrhythmia is a rhythm in which the heart rate is less than 60/min. Bradyarrhythmia can be physiologic, without symptoms or hemodynamic change. Pathologic bradyarrhythmia results in reduced cardiac output and hemodynamic instability causing syncope, dizziness, or dyspnea. Bradyarrhythmias may last up to 5 minutes following a seizure

Complications

Maternal complications:

  • Intracranial hemorrhage Intracranial hemorrhage Subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) is a type of cerebrovascular accident (stroke) resulting from intracranial hemorrhage into the subarachnoid space between the arachnoid and the pia mater layers of the meninges surrounding the brain. Most sahs originate from a saccular aneurysm in the circle of willis but may also occur as a result of trauma, uncontrolled hypertension, vasculitis, anticoagulant use, or stimulant use. Subarachnoid Hemorrhage
  • Pulmonary edema Edema Edema is a condition in which excess serous fluid accumulates in the body cavity or interstitial space of connective tissues. Edema is a symptom observed in several medical conditions. It can be categorized into 2 types, namely, peripheral (in the extremities) and internal (in an organ or body cavity). Edema
  • Renal failure Renal failure Conditions in which the kidneys perform below the normal level in the ability to remove wastes, concentrate urine, and maintain electrolyte balance; blood pressure; and calcium metabolism. Renal insufficiency can be classified by the degree of kidney damage (as measured by the level of proteinuria) and reduction in glomerular filtration rate. Crush Syndrome
  • Coagulopathy (e.g., DIC DIC Disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) is a condition characterized by systemic bodywide activation of the coagulation cascade. This cascade results in both widespread microvascular thrombi contributing to multiple organ dysfunction and consumption of clotting factors and platelets, leading to hemorrhage. Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation)
  • ↑ Risk for disease later in life:
    • Cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease
    • Diabetes Diabetes Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a metabolic disease characterized by hyperglycemia and dysfunction of the regulation of glucose metabolism by insulin. Type 1 DM is diagnosed mostly in children and young adults as the result of autoimmune destruction of β cells in the pancreas and the resulting lack of insulin. Type 2 DM has a significant association with obesity and is characterized by insulin resistance. Diabetes Mellitus 

Fetal complications:

  • IUGR
  • Oligohydramnios Oligohydramnios Oligohydramnios refers to amniotic fluid volume less than expected for the current gestational age. Oligohydramnios is diagnosed by ultrasound and defined as an amniotic fluid index (AFI) of ‰¤ 5 cm or a single deep pocket (SDP) of < 2 cm in the 2nd or 3rd trimester. Oligohydramnios
  • Placental abruption Placental Abruption Premature separation of the normally implanted placenta from the uterus. Signs of varying degree of severity include uterine bleeding, uterine muscle hypertonia, and fetal distress or fetal death. Antepartum Hemorrhage
  • Nonreassuring fetal status necessitating CD
  • Preterm birth Preterm birth Preterm labor refers to regular uterine contractions leading to cervical change prior to 37 weeks of gestation; preterm birth refers to birth prior to 37 weeks of gestation. Preterm birth may be spontaneous due to preterm labor, preterm prelabor rupture of membranes (PPROM), or cervical insufficiency. Preterm Labor and Birth

Comparing Hypertensive Pregnancy Disorders

Table: Comparing hypertensive pregnancy Pregnancy The status during which female mammals carry their developing young (embryos or fetuses) in utero before birth, beginning from fertilization to birth. Pregnancy: Diagnosis, Physiology, and Care disorders
Condition Timing of presentation Key features Management
Chronic hypertension Hypertension Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common disease that manifests as elevated systemic arterial pressures. Hypertension is most often asymptomatic and is found incidentally as part of a routine physical examination or during triage for an unrelated medical encounter. Hypertension < 20 wga
  • BP ≥ 140/90
  • Asymptomatic
  • BP control
  • Monitor for superimposed preeclampsia
  • Deliver at 37‒40 wga
Gestational hypertension Hypertension Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common disease that manifests as elevated systemic arterial pressures. Hypertension is most often asymptomatic and is found incidentally as part of a routine physical examination or during triage for an unrelated medical encounter. Hypertension ≥ 20 wga
  • BP control
  • Monitor for disease progression
  • Deliver at 37 wga
Preeclampsia without severe features 20 wga ‒ 6 weeks PP
  • Maternal and fetal monitoring Fetal monitoring The primary goals of antepartum testing and monitoring are to assess fetal well-being, identify treatable situations that may cause complications, and evaluate for chromosomal abnormalities. These tests are divided into screening tests (which include cell-free DNA testing, serum analyte testing, and nuchal translucency measurements), and diagnostic tests, which provide a definitive diagnosis of aneuploidy and include chorionic villus sampling (CVS) and amniocentesis. Antepartum Testing and Monitoring
  • Deliver at 37 wga
  • No magnesium Magnesium A metallic element that has the atomic symbol mg, atomic number 12, and atomic weight 24. 31. It is important for the activity of many enzymes, especially those involved in oxidative phosphorylation. Electrolytes
Preeclampsia with severe features 20 wga ‒ 6 weeks PP
  • Maternal and fetal monitoring Fetal monitoring The primary goals of antepartum testing and monitoring are to assess fetal well-being, identify treatable situations that may cause complications, and evaluate for chromosomal abnormalities. These tests are divided into screening tests (which include cell-free DNA testing, serum analyte testing, and nuchal translucency measurements), and diagnostic tests, which provide a definitive diagnosis of aneuploidy and include chorionic villus sampling (CVS) and amniocentesis. Antepartum Testing and Monitoring
  • Deliver at 34 wga (or earlier)
  • Magnesium Magnesium A metallic element that has the atomic symbol mg, atomic number 12, and atomic weight 24. 31. It is important for the activity of many enzymes, especially those involved in oxidative phosphorylation. Electrolytes
HELLP syndrome 20 wga ‒ 6 weeks PP
  • Abnormal lab findings
  • BP may be normal or elevated
  • Symptoms may or may not be present
  • Same as preeclampsia with severe features
Eclampsia 20 wga ‒ 6 weeks PP
  • Seizures Seizures A seizure is abnormal electrical activity of the neurons in the cerebral cortex that can manifest in numerous ways depending on the region of the brain affected. Seizures consist of a sudden imbalance that occurs between the excitatory and inhibitory signals in cortical neurons, creating a net excitation. The 2 major classes of seizures are focal and generalized. Seizures
  • Other findings of preeclampsia
  • Magnesium Magnesium A metallic element that has the atomic symbol mg, atomic number 12, and atomic weight 24. 31. It is important for the activity of many enzymes, especially those involved in oxidative phosphorylation. Electrolytes
  • Maternal/fetal stabilization
  • Delivery

References

  1. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ Committee on Practice Bulletins—Obstetrics. (2019). ACOG Practice Bulletin no. 203: Chronic hypertension in Pregnancy. Obstet Gynecol 133:e26–e50.
  2. Colussi G, Catena C, Driul L, et al. (2020). Secondary hyperparathyroidism is associated with postpartum blood pressure in preeclamptic women and normal pregnancies. J Hypertens.
  3. Dymara-Konopka W, Laskowska M, Oleszczuk J. (2018). Preeclampsia—current management and future approach. Curr Pharm Biotechnol 19:786–796.
  4. (2020). Gestational hypertension and preeclampsia: ACOG Practice Bulletin Summary, Number 222. Obstet Gynecol 135:1492–1495. 
  5. Hauspurg A, Sutton EF, Catov JM, Caritis SN. (2018). Aspirin effect on adverse pregnancy outcomes associated with stage 1 hypertension in a high-risk cohort. Hypertension 72:202–207. 
  6. Luger RK, Kight BP. (2020). Hypertension in pregnancy. StatPearls. Retrieved July 1, 2021, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK430839/ 
  7. Timpka S, Markovitz A, Schyman T, Mogren I, Fraser A, Franks PW, Rich-Edwards JW. (2018). Midlife development of type 2 diabetes and hypertension in women by history of hypertensive disorders of pregnancy. Cardiovasc Diabetol. 17(1):124
  8. Carson, M. (2018). Hypertension and Pregnancy. Emedicine. Retrieved July 1, 2021, from https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/261435-overview#a4

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