A protocol for managing severe preeclampsia in the second trimester

B M Sibai, S Akl, F Fairlie, M Moretti
American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 1990, 163 (3): 733-8
One hundred nine patients with severe preeclampsia in the second trimester were studied. Pregnancy termination was recommended for those with gestational age less than or equal to 24 weeks (n = 25), whereas expectant management with aggressive maternal and fetal monitoring was recommended for those with gestational age greater than 24 but less than or equal to 27 weeks (n = 84). Ten of the 25 women in the early pregnancy group accepted termination and 15 elected to continue the pregnancy. The overall perinatal survival in the latter 15 patients was 6.7%, and maternal complications developed in six patients. Thirty of the 84 patients in the late second-trimester group had immediate delivery, and 54 had expectant management. The average length of pregnancy prolongation in the expectant group was 13.2 days (range, 4 to 28 days). Compared with the immediate delivery group, the expectant management group had significantly higher perinatal survival (76.4% versus 35%), significantly higher birth weights (880 versus 709 gm), and a lower incidence of neonatal complications. There were no differences between the two groups with regard to maternal complications. Expectant management with aggressive monitoring of maternal and fetal status at a perinatal center improves perinatal outcome in patients with severe preeclampsia with gestational age greater than 24 but less than or equal to 27 weeks.

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