London: Scientists have developed a life-saving test that can predict which woman with high blood pressure in pregnancy will go on to have complications.
Pre-eclampsia affects up to one in 10 pregnant women, causing high blood pressure and protein in the urine. Eclampsia is a condition where the mother may suffer seizures, fall into a coma and die.
Only a minority of women with the condition will go on to develop life-threatening complications, but all must be monitored closely, a Telegraph report quoting Lancet magazine, says.
The only cure is to deliver the baby early; but doctors have a fine balancing act to consider which women need to be induced early because they are at risk of complications and which can safely carry their baby to term, the report says.
Now researchers at University of British Columbia in Canada have found a collection of measures and tests that can predict the one-in-100 woman with pre-eclampsia who will develop full blown eclampsia.
The researchers formulated a calculation using data on the mother`s characteristics, past medical history present symptoms, cardiovascular signs, results of kidney, blood, and liver tests, as well as fetal assessment tests such as fetal heart rate and estimated weight.
They tested the calculation on more than 2,000 women with pre-eclampsia of whom 13 percent went on to develop complications. None died.
The calculation called fullPIERS, identified more than three quarters of women who subsequently had events as being at high risk.