Benefits and risks of expectant management of severe preeclampsia at less than 26 weeks gestation: the impact of gestational age and severe fetal growth restriction

Jérémi Belghiti, Gilles Kayem, Vassili Tsatsaris, François Goffinet, Baha M Sibai, Bassam Haddad
American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 2011, 205 (5): 465.e1-6

OBJECTIVE: To determine maternal and perinatal outcome in women with severe preeclampsia at <26 weeks according to gestational age at the onset of expectant management and the presence of severe fetal growth restriction (<5th percentile).

STUDY DESIGN: Fifty-one patients (53 fetuses; 2 twins) were retrospectively studied.

RESULTS: Median prolongation was 7 days (2-55). Maternal morbidity rate was 43%. Perinatal survival rate was 42%. Severe fetal growth restriction complicated 17 fetuses (33%). There were no perinatal survivors in those managed at <24 weeks (n = 12). For those at 24-24(6/7) and 25-25(6/7) weeks, the perinatal survival rates were 50% and 57%, respectively, and in the presence of severe fetal growth restriction 0% and 30%, respectively.

CONCLUSION: Perinatal outcome in severe preeclampsia in the midtrimester is dependent on gestational age and/or the presence of severe fetal growth restriction. Given the high maternal morbidity and the extremely low perinatal survival rates, we do not recommend expectant management before 24 weeks and/or in those with severe fetal growth restriction at any gestational age <26 weeks.

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