New blood test to identify those at high risk of pre-eclampsia
A new blood test for pre-eclampsia, a severe pregnancy complication linked to high blood pressure, could save hundreds of babies’ lives a year, say researchers.
The bedside test can give a result in 15 minutes and is able to identify 96 per cent of pregnant women at high risk of the condition.
It was developed by British scientists who studied a group of 625 pregnant women from across the UK, 61 per cent of whom were affected by pre-eclampsia.
The condition can damage the kidneys, liver and brain and lead to premature delivery, low birthweight babies and stillbirths.
High blood pressure
Dr Lucy Chappell, senior lecturer in obstetrics at King’s College London, said: “The test is designed to differentiate women with pre-eclampsia from those with high blood pressure alone. Current tests for the condition only detect that it’s happening, rather than predicting it, and by that time the disease has progressed and has likely already caused organ damage.”
Dr Chappell and Prof Shennan now plan to conduct a trial of the test in the UK and Ireland. – PA