Navigation Links
Breakthrough in pre-eclampsia test
Date:2/12/2008

A team at the University of Leeds has discovered a way of diagnosing pre-eclampsia, a condition which affects almost one in ten pregnant women and accounts for up to 15% of all premature deliveries.

They now plan to develop a user-friendly diagnostic kit within five years which could be used in hospitals all over the world to safely and speedily test all pregnant women. The potential saving of a predictor for the NHS alone has been estimated at up to 500m a year with the reduction in medical care required for the mother and her baby.

The team has been able to distinguish between pregnant women who are healthy and those with pre-eclampsia by studying samples of their blood plasma taken at the same time as routine blood samples.

The symptoms of pre-eclampsia include high blood pressure and protein in urine and fluid retention. Left untreated, the condition can cause a range of problems such as growth restriction in babies and even foetal and maternal mortality.

Dr Julie Fisher, Reader in Biological NMR (nuclear magnetic resonance) and PhD student Elizabeth Turner from the School of Chemistry conducted the research with Jimmy Walker, Professor of Obstetrics at St James's University Hospital. The research was funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

The team used a technique which is based on the same science as MRI scans but which operates on fluids taken from the body, to identify chemicals in the blood plasma of pregnant women. The amount of these chemicals was found to depend on whether the women were healthy or whether they were suffering from pre-eclampsia.

Dr Fisher said: "The concentration of certain chemicals such as amino acids and fat in the body has been found to vary in a way which is dependent on the health of the woman. We have found that some of these chemicals increase in concentration when the woman is suffering from pre-eclampsia whilst others decrease."

Professor Walker said: "Currently, we monitor all pregnant women in antenatal clinics for signs of pre-eclampsia which develops after 20 weeks of pregnancy. If an early prognostic tool was to become available, doctors and midwives could focus their attention and resources on caring for those more likely to develop the condition and instigate methods of prevention. This would be of significant benefit to the mother and her baby as well as the health service."

Dr Fisher said her work may ultimately be used as a basis for trying to find a cure for the condition. She said: "It is a long way down the line, but if we know what biological chemicals are affected by the disease, then we may be able to determine its cause and ultimately work towards preventing pre-eclampsia."

The findings were published last year in the medical journal Hypertension in Pregnancy and another paper on the subject will be published in the same journal in the spring. The discovery has been patented and is being developed by a spin-out company, MetaBio Ltd.

The work was funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), which sponsors around 40 students at the University of Leeds and University of Sheffield to carry out research in the White Rose Doctoral Training Centre (DTC); Physical Methods and Life Sciences.

Dr Fisher made the discovery after giving the project to a new research student as part of her training. She said: "Originally I had been looking at potential indicators of pre-eclampsia in red blood cells, following some earlier studies by Professor Walker. I stored the plasma simply because it seemed wasteful of material not to! Then, when Elizabeth was interested in our work, I asked her to see if there was anything relevant in the stored plasma, and we went on from there."


'/>"/>

Contact: Guy Dixon
G.Dixon@leeds.ac.uk
01-133-434-031
University of Leeds
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. On 30th Anniversary, Angioplasty Celebrated as Modern Medical Breakthrough in Stopping Heart Attack
2. drugstore.com and Revolution Health Group Announce Breakthrough Deal
3. New Round of Lupus Research Institute Awards Brings Promise of More Breakthroughs
4. CBaySystems Introduces CBayPraxis - A Breakthrough Solution Focused on Physician Practice Efficiency
5. Oosight Imaging System Enables a Breakthrough: The Viable Transfer of Genetic Material for Stem Cell Nuclear Reprogramming in Primates
6. Breakthrough in organ rejection diagnosis examines gene behavior
7. Safe Sex Passport Launches to Provide Breakthrough Protection Against STDs and HIV
8. Major breakthrough toward the treatment of HIV/HAART-associated Lipodystrophy Syndrome
9. Cardica Announces Live Webcast Demonstrating Breakthrough Device to Facilitate Beating Heart and Robotic Coronary Revascularization Surgery
10. TIME Magazine Names GeneSearch(TM) One of the Top 10 Medical Breakthroughs in 2007
11. California Breakthrough a Pivotal Moment in Fight to Transform Nations Health Care System
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... certification process to promote standards of excellence for the field of eating disorders, ... March 22 – 25, 2018 in Orlando, Florida at the Omni Resort at ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Southern ... and Jennifer Huggins, PharmD ’17, along with clinical associate professor Janice Frueh, ... cardiovascular diseases during the 15th Annual Women’s Health Conference. The SIU School ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Apple Rehab Shelton Lakes ... a mock evacuation of the facility as part of a disaster drill on October ... Hose EMS and Shelton City Emergency Manager, as well as the Connecticut Long ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... , ... October 13, 2017 , ... The Visiting Nurse ... Market. Featuring a collection of specialty vendors and unique items from across the nation, ... quality-focused health and wellness services offered by the VNA. The boutique will be ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... ... Global Healthcare Management’s 4th Annual Kids Fun Run brought out many kids this ... by Global Healthcare Management’s CEO, Jon Letko, is aimed at getting kids excited about ... ages; it is a non-competitive, non-timed event, which is all about having fun and ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/25/2017)... , Sept. 25, 2017  EpiVax, Inc., ... vaccine design, and immune-engineering today announced the launch ... the development of personalized therapeutic cancer vaccines. EpiVax ... provided exclusive access to enabling technologies to the ... MBA will lead EpiVax Oncology as Chief Executive ...
(Date:9/22/2017)... AVACEN Medical (AVACEN) announced that its CE-Marked ... those with the widespread pain associated with fibromyalgia in ... Essex, England commented, "I had ... no sleep at all, tremendous pain, with every movement ... [the AVACEN 100] enough, how this has and is ...
(Date:9/18/2017)... Mich. , Sept. 18, 2017  PMD Healthcare ... Specialty Pharmacy of Kalamazoo, Mich. , ... hub service that expedites and streamlines patient and provider ... PD 2.0, and wellness management services.  ... device used to measure lung function for a variety ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: