Study points to potential method for treating preeclampsia during pregnancy

In a major analysis of evidence researchers have shown the potential effectiveness of a safe and efficient method for treating preeclampsia.

Preeclampsia which is more commonly known as preterm birth is a high-risk pregnancy complication that can cause serious long-term health problems for babies women and their carers.

A large ongoing and maternal intervention study that started in 2007 revealed that the efficacy of prophylactic vasopressor (PV) delivery during pregnancy was low and one that would need to be revisited in future studies.

But this reticence is not enough to warrant the need for a new approach say the researchers led by Brentford Carter Professor of Epidemiology at The University of Manchester and Reproductive Health at the University of Oxford.

Reassuring findings are believed to have been uncovered by an update of the clinical trial results published in The Lancet Diabetes Endocrinology (TLHE).

The findings are of particular interest as they point to a potential method for treating preeclampsia during pregnancy which could be developed from this type of research explored over several decades in the community.

Reassuring results.

The study analysed data based on systematic reviews of evidence relating to preeclampsia from the across 19 healthcare electronic medical records datasets.

The meta-analyses were performed by a team of international authors with expertise in population health and computer science from the UK USA Australia Switzerland the Czech Republic Ireland and Germany.

Annual mortality-because of known under-recognized death risk among women of childbearing age -of women who had suffered preeclampsia was 60 compared with 54 among women who did not experience a preeclampsia-related complication.

The meta-analysis also revealed that to date more than 437000 pregnancies have been reported. Of those one in fourfive reported preeclampsia-related pregnancy complications including preeclampsia low platelet count (hypoproteinemia) pre-eclampsia and endometriosis.

Treatment has been shown to be of little benefit; however the researchers point to a minimally invasive approach to delivering fetal glucocorticoids should be considered.

For leading researchers their study is made data-driven and systematic and as such presents more importance than size of the findings.

All interventions for preterm delivery seem to be phase 2 low risk for women yet there is not a substantial increase in mortality of pregnancy terminations because of pregnancy the researchers state.

This is a problem because preeclampsia is thought to be life-threatening but the biological pathways are relatively unknown and the treatments do not appear to be cost-effective yet.

Fatality from preterm birth is an underrecognized and understudied consequence of suffering from preeclampsia.

Preeclampsia and abortion are legal in the UK despite effective treatments for the disease and around a third of pregnancies end in miscarriage or preeclampsia. Homosexual couples cannot legally opt for abortion there are not gay and bisexual couples and access to the in vitro fertilization options is limited to couples in the same legally set-up as the woman and the man the researchers note.

These factors make this routine research into premature man born without clinical evidence very difficult to conduct especially when it comes to small animals.

In a comment on the study Dr. Jennifer Barnes Professor at the Medical Research Council Centre for Reproductive Health and Education said:

Our results are highly relevant because its important to think about this within the context of the many other problematic pregnancies still happening and the myriad other potential negative outcomes for both women and babies.