La Candelaria Hospital manages to reduce preeclampsia in pregnant women by more than 40%

The Hospital Universitario Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria, in Tenerife, has reduced the annual incidence of preeclampsia in pregnant women by 44%, thanks to the performance of a test that detects early pregnant women who may suffer from this pathology. The center has gone from having 120 cases in 2016 to an average of 67 per year after starting this project.

Its application has also made it possible to reduce annual hospital admissions for this disease by almost 400 days.

Preeclampsia is a complication in pregnancy that causes an increase in blood pressure and damage to organs such as the liver or kidneys. Although there is no specific treatment available once the ailment is developed, there is a highly effective preventive one, which prevents its growth.

To stop this development, acetylsalicylic acid (better known as aspirin) is administered, in low doses, if the risk is detected during the first trimester. But to avoid side effects, screening is essential to find out early which women are more likely to have this pathology, and thus benefit from preventive treatment.

In recent years, there has been a greater number of cases of this condition due to the change in the profile of pregnant women: older maternal age, obesity and pregnancies obtained by assisted reproduction techniques.

To control this situation, the hospital has included a new biomarker in screening, placental growth factor (PLGF1), which provides more reliable results to detect people who are more likely to develop this condition.

Until now, for early diagnosis, four parameters were evaluated that responded to personal history, blood pressure, pulsatility of the uterine arteries and the biochemical marker (PAPP-A).

The inclusion of this new variable has managed to reduce preeclampsia by 44%, thanks to the idea of ​​doctors María Teresa Concepción, María Cecilia Martín and Sara Caamiña, the promoters of this pioneering project in the Canary Islands.

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