Evidence-based management for preeclampsia

Peter von Dadelszen, Jennifer Menzies, Sarah Gilgoff, Fang Xie, M Joanne Douglas, Diane Sawchuck, Laura A Magee
Frontiers in Bioscience: a Journal and Virtual Library 2007 May 1, 12: 2876-89
This review reflects both the variable presentation and the systemic nature of preeclampsia. Recommendations for the comprehensive evaluation and management of organ dysfunction associated with pre-eclampsia are included. The main points in the review are that: (1) Preeclampsia is a systemic disorder that may affect many organ systems. (2) For preeclampsia remote from term (<34 weeks), expectant management improves perinatal outcomes, but requires obsessive surveillance to mitigate maternal risks and is a "package." (3) Initial assessment and ongoing surveillance of women with preeclampsia should include assessment of all vulnerable maternal organs as well as of the fetus. (4) Initiate antihypertensive drug treatment immediately if sBP >160 mmHg or dBP more than 110 mmHg, or if sBP 140-159 mmHg and/or dBP 85-109 mmHg (prepregnancy renal disease or diabetes). (5) The treatment of nonsevere pregnancy hypertension should include a treatment goal of dBP 80-105 mmHg (depending on practitioner preference), with one of the following agents, Methyldopa, Labetalol, Nifedipine, or, with special indications (renal or cardiac diseases), diuretics. (6) Drugs to avoid: angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors; angiotensin II receptor antagonists; and atenolol. (7) For the acute management of severe hypertension, initially reduce dBP by 10 mmHg and maintain the blood pressure at or below that level with either Nifedipine or Labetalol. (8) For both prophylaxis against and treatment of eclampsia, MgSO4 (4 g IV stat, then 1 g/hr). (9) For recurrent seizures, MgSO4 (2g IV stat, then increase to 1.5 g/hr). (10) Total fluid intake should not exceed 80 ml/hr; tolerate urine outputs as low as 10 ml/hr. (11) Early-onset and/or severe preeclampsia predict later cardiovascular morbidity and mortality; it would seem prudent to offer such women screening and lipid lowering interventions.

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