Pre-eclampsia is a complication of pregnancy marked by high blood pressure and presence of protein in the urine (proteinuria).
Pre-eclampsia is affecting between two and eight out of every 100 pregnant women. The exact cause is unknown, but its risks are clear: left untreated, pre-eclampsia can cause growth-restriction or preterm birth of the child, and in some cases, lead to maternal and perinatal mortality. But with screening, the high risk of the more severe forms of pre-eclampsia, early-onset and preterm pre-eclampsia, can be predicted and prevented.
When it comes to effectively predicting pre-eclampsia, the combined screening program outperforms screening methods that rely only on maternal history. The effectiveness of preeclampsia screening also depends on marker combination[i].
A combined screening program for pre-eclampsia is recommended by international guidelines[ii, iii] to identify women at high risk of pre-eclampsia in the early stages of pregnancy. The combined screening program consists of the PlGF 1-2-3™ blood test, maternal medical history assessment, mean arterial blood pressure measurement and, if available, uterine artery Doppler ultrasonography.
During second and third trimesters, sFlt-1 (soluble Fms-like tyrosine kinase-1) and PlGF are both predictive and diagnostic for pre-eclampsia. It has been shown that increased levels of sFlt-1 and decreased levels of PlGF in maternal serum can predict the subsequent onset of pre-eclampsia[iv, v].
PerkinElmer supplies the LifeCycle™ software which enables monitoring of pre-eclampsia status with the sFlt-1/PlGF ratio. The ratio results can be linked to the same patients’ other results in LifeCycle™software. For ratio calculations, the cut-offs for pre-eclampsia management are adjustable.
Kypros Nicolaides, Professor at King’s College Hospital, London, UK and founder of Fetal Medicine Foundation, FMF, discusses the latest advances in prediction and prevention of preterm pre-eclampsia.
Video link: https://youtu.be/Hjp9mqBzLBo
Learn more at rh.perkinelmer.com/prenatal-testing/pre-eclampsia/