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Hypertensive Pregnancy Disorders

Hypertensive disorders of 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 include 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, preeclampsia/eclampsia, 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 hemolysis, 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, and low platelet count (HELLP) syndrome. These syndromes pose a significant risk to the pregnant woman and her fetus. 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 defined as a BP > 140/90 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 and can be diagnosed before (chronic) or after (gestational) the 20th week of gestation. Preeclampsia is 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 or end-organ damage. Eclampsia is 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 is a severe manifestation of preeclampsia leading to 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 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 injury. Management is with 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 and magnesium sulfate Magnesium Sulfate A small colorless crystal used as an anticonvulsant, a cathartic, and an electrolyte replenisher in the treatment of pre-eclampsia and eclampsia. It causes direct inhibition of action potentials in myometrial muscle cells. Excitation and contraction are uncoupled, which decreases the frequency and force of contractions. Laxatives for seizure prophylaxis Prophylaxis Cephalosporins. The definitive treatment for all hypertensive disorders of 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 delivery.

Last updated: 30 Jul, 2021

Editorial responsibility: Stanley Oiseth, Lindsay Jones, Evelin Maza

Epidemiology and Etiology

Epidemiology

  • Hypertensive disorders complicate 5%–10% of pregnancies.
  • Preeclampsia:
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • 1% of pregnancies are complicated by 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.
  • 5%–6% of pregnancies are complicated by 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.
  • 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%.

Etiology

  • High-risk factors: 
    • History of preeclampsia
    • 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)
  • Risk factors in progression to preeclampsia:
    • History of preeclampsia
    • History of HELLP (hemolysis, 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, 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 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) syndrome
    • Twin and multiple gestations
    • 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
    • Women > 35 years of age
    • 1st-time mothers
    • Family history Family History Adult Health Maintenance

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

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 HELPP syndrome

  • 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 → placental hypoperfusion → 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
    • 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 Microangiopathic Hemolytic Anemia Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (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 damage + 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 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
  • Hypertensive encephalopathy Encephalopathy Hyper-IgM Syndrome may also play a role.

Clinical Presentation

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
  • 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 before the 20th week of gestation
  • Often preexisting 
  • No proteinuria Proteinuria The presence of proteins in the urine, an indicator of kidney diseases. Nephrotic Syndrome in Children
  • No 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 after the 20th week of gestation
  • 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
  • No end-organ damage

Preeclampsia

  • Occurs between 20 weeks of gestation and up to 6 weeks postpartum.
  • 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 either proteinuria Proteinuria The presence of proteins in the urine, an indicator of kidney diseases. Nephrotic Syndrome in Children or end-organ damage
  • Very common among critically ill pregnant women
  • 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 Blurred Vision Retinal Detachment
    • 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 Pulmonary edema Pulmonary edema is a condition caused by excess fluid within the lung parenchyma and alveoli as a consequence of a disease process. Based on etiology, pulmonary edema is classified as cardiogenic or noncardiogenic. Patients may present with progressive dyspnea, orthopnea, cough, or respiratory failure. Pulmonary Edema 
    • 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
    • Rales Rales Respiratory Syncytial Virus
  • Renal impairment with peripheral edema Peripheral edema Peripheral edema is the swelling of the lower extremities, namely, legs, feet, and ankles. Edema
  • Hepatic impairment with RUQ pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways
Timing of onset of preeclampsia

Timing of onset of preeclampsia

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

Eclampsia

  • Preeclampsia with the presence of 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 symptoms:
    • Persistent occipital Occipital Part of the back and base of the cranium that encloses the foramen magnum. Skull: Anatomy or frontal Frontal The bone that forms the frontal aspect of the skull. Its flat part forms the forehead, articulating inferiorly with the nasal bone and the cheek bone on each side of the face. Skull: Anatomy headaches
    • Blurred vision Blurred Vision Retinal Detachment
    • 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
    • Epigastric or RUQ pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways
    • Altered mental status Altered Mental Status Sepsis in Children

HELLP syndrome

  • Manifestation of preeclampsia (not a separate disorder).
  • Preeclampsia symptoms ( proteinuria Proteinuria The presence of proteins in the urine, an indicator of kidney diseases. Nephrotic Syndrome in Children and/or end-organ damage) plus:
    • 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
      • 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
    • Low Platelets
  • 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

Diagnosis

  • 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 a BP measurement on 2 separate occasions, at least 4 hours apart of:
    • 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 of gestation.
  • 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 weeks of gestation when BP was previously normal.
  • Preeclampsia is 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 or end-organ damage.
    • If presenting without proteinuria Proteinuria The presence of proteins in the urine, an indicator of kidney diseases. Nephrotic Syndrome in Children must meet 1 of the following 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) 
      • Renal insufficiency (baseline creatinine is doubled or serum creatinine > 1.1 mg/dL) 
      • Pulmonary edema Pulmonary edema Pulmonary edema is a condition caused by excess fluid within the lung parenchyma and alveoli as a consequence of a disease process. Based on etiology, pulmonary edema is classified as cardiogenic or noncardiogenic. Patients may present with progressive dyspnea, orthopnea, cough, or respiratory failure. Pulmonary Edema 
      • 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 > 2 times 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)
      • New-onset headache Headache The symptom of pain in the cranial region. It may be an isolated benign occurrence or manifestation of a wide variety of headache disorders. Brain Abscess that is unresponsive to medications and has no alternative cause.
  • Eclampsia consists of preeclampsia criteria plus 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:
    • Generalized tonic–clonic 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 
    • From intrapartum up to 72 hours postpartum
    • Secondary to untreated and/or undertreated preeclampsia
  • HELLP syndrome is a severe form of preeclampsia with:
    • Hemolysis, with:
    • 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, with 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 > 2 times 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
    • ↓ Platelet count, with 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)

Management

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) between 12 and 28 weeks and continued until delivery.

Management

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.

  • 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 Pulmonary edema Pulmonary edema is a condition caused by excess fluid within the lung parenchyma and alveoli as a consequence of a disease process. Based on etiology, pulmonary edema is classified as cardiogenic or noncardiogenic. Patients may present with progressive dyspnea, orthopnea, cough, or respiratory failure. Pulmonary 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
  • Abnormal findings on any of the following evaluations may require early delivery:
    • Ultrasonography for 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:
      • IUGR
      • 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 
      • Poor placental/umbilical blood flow Flow Blood flows through the heart, arteries, capillaries, and veins in a closed, continuous circuit. Flow is the movement of volume per unit of time. Flow is affected by the pressure gradient and the resistance fluid encounters between 2 points. Vascular resistance is the opposition to flow, which is caused primarily by blood friction against vessel walls. Vascular Resistance, Flow, and Mean Arterial Pressure 
    • Other testing:
    • Fetal nonstress test
    • 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 index evaluation
  • In patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship with 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 seizure prophylaxis Prophylaxis Cephalosporins is not indicated until after delivery. 
      • Load with 6 g of IV magnesium sulfate Magnesium Sulfate A small colorless crystal used as an anticonvulsant, a cathartic, and an electrolyte replenisher in the treatment of pre-eclampsia and eclampsia. It causes direct inhibition of action potentials in myometrial muscle cells. Excitation and contraction are uncoupled, which decreases the frequency and force of contractions. Laxatives and infuse at 1–2 g/hour. 
      • Monitor carefully and hold the infusion for signs 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 or 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.
      • Signs 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 patellar reflexes, tachypnea Tachypnea Increased respiratory rate. Pulmonary Examination due to respiratory muscle weakness Respiratory muscle weakness Respiratory Acidosis
    • Between 24 and 33 weeks, steroid therapy is indicated to promote fetal lung maturity.

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 Pulmonary edema Pulmonary edema is a condition caused by excess fluid within the lung parenchyma and alveoli as a consequence of a disease process. Based on etiology, pulmonary edema is classified as cardiogenic or noncardiogenic. Patients may present with progressive dyspnea, orthopnea, cough, or respiratory failure. Pulmonary 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
  • Hemolysis
  • 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 injury
  • 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
  • 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

Differential Diagnosis

  • Antiphospholipid syndrome Antiphospholipid syndrome Antiphospholipid syndrome (APLS) is an acquired autoimmune disorder characterized by the persistent presence of antiphospholipid antibodies, which create a hypercoagulable state. These antibodies are most commonly discovered during a workup for a thrombotic event or recurrent pregnancy loss, which are the 2 most common clinical manifestations. Antiphospholipid Syndrome: acquired hypercoagulable Hypercoagulable Hypercoagulable states (also referred to as thrombophilias) are a group of hematologic diseases defined by an increased risk of clot formation (i.e., thrombosis) due to either an increase in procoagulants, a decrease in anticoagulants, or a decrease in fibrinolysis. Hypercoagulable States state created from an underlying autoimmune disorder Autoimmune Disorder Septic Arthritis that causes a patient’s state to be procoagulant. A majority of patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship have recurrent miscarriages Recurrent Miscarriages Antiphospholipid Syndrome. Diagnosis is made by laboratory findings of the respective antibodies Antibodies Immunoglobulins (Igs), also known as antibodies, are glycoprotein molecules produced by plasma cells that act in immune responses by recognizing and binding particular antigens. The various Ig classes are IgG (the most abundant), IgM, IgE, IgD, and IgA, which differ in their biologic features, structure, target specificity, and distribution. Immunoglobulins: Types and Functions, and mainstay of management is anticoagulation Anticoagulation Pulmonary Hypertension Drugs.
  • Aortic coarctation: defined as a narrowing of the aorta Aorta The main trunk of the systemic arteries. Mediastinum and Great Vessels: Anatomy between the aortic arch Aortic arch Mediastinum and Great Vessels: Anatomy and the iliac bifurcation. Children and adults present with symptoms of hypoperfusion and/or 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. The classic findings include a radiofemoral/ brachiofemoral delay Brachiofemoral delay Femoral pulses are delayed compared to brachial pulses. Coarctation of the Aorta and lower BP in the lower limbs. Diagnosis is confirmed by echocardiography Echocardiography Ultrasonic recording of the size, motion, and composition of the heart and surrounding tissues. The standard approach is transthoracic. Tricuspid Valve Atresia (TVA). Management is surgery as early as possible to avoid complications 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.
  • Cushing syndrome Cushing syndrome A condition caused by prolonged exposure to excess levels of cortisol (hydrocortisone) or other glucocorticoids from endogenous or exogenous sources. It is characterized by upper body obesity; osteoporosis; hypertension; diabetes mellitus; hirsutism; amenorrhea; and excess body fluid. Endogenous Cushing syndrome or spontaneous hypercortisolism is divided into two groups, those due to an excess of adrenocorticotropin and those that are acth-independent. Paraneoplastic Syndromes: hypercortisolism Hypercortisolism Cushing’s syndrome or hypercortisolism is a disorder characterized by features resulting from chronic exposure to excess glucocorticoids. Cushing’s syndrome may be exogenous, due to chronic glucocorticoid intake, or endogenous, due to increased adrenal secretion of cortisol or adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) production from the pituitary gland or ectopic sources. Cushing Syndrome resulting from chronic exposure Exposure ABCDE Assessment to excess glucocorticoids Glucocorticoids Glucocorticoids are a class within the corticosteroid family. Glucocorticoids are chemically and functionally similar to endogenous cortisol. There are a wide array of indications, which primarily benefit from the antiinflammatory and immunosuppressive effects of this class of drugs. Glucocorticoids. Typical clinical features of Cushing syndrome Cushing syndrome A condition caused by prolonged exposure to excess levels of cortisol (hydrocortisone) or other glucocorticoids from endogenous or exogenous sources. It is characterized by upper body obesity; osteoporosis; hypertension; diabetes mellitus; hirsutism; amenorrhea; and excess body fluid. Endogenous Cushing syndrome or spontaneous hypercortisolism is divided into two groups, those due to an excess of adrenocorticotropin and those that are acth-independent. Paraneoplastic Syndromes include central obesity Central Obesity Cushing Syndrome, thin, bruisable skin Skin The skin, also referred to as the integumentary system, is the largest organ of the body. The skin is primarily composed of the epidermis (outer layer) and dermis (deep layer). The epidermis is primarily composed of keratinocytes that undergo rapid turnover, while the dermis contains dense layers of connective tissue. Skin: Structure and Functions, abdominal striae, secondary hypertension Secondary hypertension Hypertension, hyperglycemia Hyperglycemia Abnormally high blood glucose level. Diabetes Mellitus, and proximal muscle weakness Proximal Muscle Weakness Lambert-Eaton Myasthenic Syndrome. Diagnosis is by elevated cortisol Cortisol Glucocorticoids levels. Management options depend on the cause and may include surgery or medical therapy.
  • Hydatidiform mole Mole Nevi (singular nevus), also known as “moles,” are benign neoplasms of the skin. Nevus is a non-specific medical term because it encompasses both congenital and acquired lesions, hyper- and hypopigmented lesions, and raised or flat lesions. Nevus/Nevi: due to cystic Cystic Fibrocystic Change swelling Swelling Inflammation of the chorionic villi Chorionic villi Threadlike vascular projections of the chorion. Chorionic villi may be free or embedded within the decidua forming the site for exchange of substances between fetal and maternal blood (placenta). Placenta, Umbilical Cord, and Amniotic Cavity and proliferation of the chorionic epithelium Epithelium The epithelium is a complex of specialized cellular organizations arranged into sheets and lining cavities and covering the surfaces of the body. The cells exhibit polarity, having an apical and a basal pole. Structures important for the epithelial integrity and function involve the basement membrane, the semipermeable sheet on which the cells rest, and interdigitations, as well as cellular junctions. Surface Epithelium: Histology. Hydatidiform mole Mole Nevi (singular nevus), also known as “moles,” are benign neoplasms of the skin. Nevus is a non-specific medical term because it encompasses both congenital and acquired lesions, hyper- and hypopigmented lesions, and raised or flat lesions. Nevus/Nevi is a gestational trophoblastic disease Gestational trophoblastic disease Gestational trophoblastic diseases are a spectrum of placental disorders resulting from abnormal placental trophoblastic growth. These disorders range from benign molar pregnancies (complete and partial moles) to neoplastic conditions such as invasive moles and choriocarcinoma. Gestational Trophoblastic Disease resulting from abnormal placental trophoblastic growth. Diagnosis is confirmed by elevated serum beta-hCG and ultrasound findings, which are dependent on the disorder. Management is primarily through dilation and curettage Curettage A scraping, usually of the interior of a cavity or tract, for removal of new growth or other abnormal tissue, or to obtain material for tissue diagnosis. It is performed with a curet (curette), a spoon-shaped instrument designed for that purpose. Benign Bone Tumors and/or methotrexate Methotrexate An antineoplastic antimetabolite with immunosuppressant properties. It is an inhibitor of tetrahydrofolate dehydrogenase and prevents the formation of tetrahydrofolate, necessary for synthesis of thymidylate, an essential component of DNA. Antimetabolite Chemotherapy
  • Hyperthyroidism Hyperthyroidism Hypersecretion of thyroid hormones from the thyroid gland. Elevated levels of thyroid hormones increase basal metabolic rate. Thyrotoxicosis and Hyperthyroidism: caused by sustained overproduction and 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 the thyroid Thyroid The thyroid gland is one of the largest endocrine glands in the human body. The thyroid gland is a highly vascular, brownish-red gland located in the visceral compartment of the anterior region of the neck. Thyroid Gland: Anatomy hormone T3 and/or T4. Clinical features of thyrotoxicosis Thyrotoxicosis A hypermetabolic syndrome caused by excess thyroid hormones which may come from endogenous or exogenous sources. The endogenous source of hormone may be thyroid hyperplasia; thyroid neoplasms; or hormone-producing extrathyroidal tissue. Thyrotoxicosis is characterized by nervousness; tachycardia; fatigue; weight loss; heat intolerance; and excessive sweating. Thyrotoxicosis and Hyperthyroidism are mostly due to an increase in the metabolic rate and overactivity of the sympathetic nervous system Nervous system The nervous system is a small and complex system that consists of an intricate network of neural cells (or neurons) and even more glial cells (for support and insulation). It is divided according to its anatomical components as well as its functional characteristics. The brain and spinal cord are referred to as the central nervous system, and the branches of nerves from these structures are referred to as the peripheral nervous system. Nervous System: Anatomy, Structure, and Classification. Hyperthyroidism Hyperthyroidism Hypersecretion of thyroid hormones from the thyroid gland. Elevated levels of thyroid hormones increase basal metabolic rate. Thyrotoxicosis and Hyperthyroidism is diagnosed by low levels of TSH and elevated levels of T4 and T3. Depending on the etiology and clinical presentation Presentation The position or orientation of the fetus at near term or during obstetric labor, determined by its relation to the spine of the mother and the birth canal. The normal position is a vertical, cephalic presentation with the fetal vertex flexed on the neck. Normal and Abnormal Labor, it may be treated pharmacologically, surgically, or with radioiodine.

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 oreeclampsia: 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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