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New Study Heralds Use of Blood Biomarkers to Predict Preeclampsia
Date:11/17/2009

NEW YORK, November 17 /PRNewswire/ -- A new study that examines the value of maternal blood biomarkers will help identify and monitor patients at risk of developing preeclampsia and is set to change the way expectant mothers are cared for in prenatal clinics around the world.

The study, conducted by scientists at the highly-respected National Institute of Child and Human Development of the National Institute of Health (NICHD/NIH), set out to determine the diagnostic indices and predictive values of biomarkers measured in maternal blood in the first and second trimester of pregnancy. The goal of the study was to determine if the biomarkers could predict the subsequent development of preeclampsia.

"This study represents a very important step forward; for the first time ever, we are presented with the possibility, for clinical use, of a combination of factors to predict early onset preeclampsia with a reasonable degree of accuracy," says Professor Marshall Lindheimer, Professor Emeritus of Medicine and Obstetrics & Gynaecology at the University of Chicago.

Preeclampsia is the leading cause of infant death and the second leading cause of maternal death Around the world. Conservative estimates indicate that preeclampsia is responsible for some 76,000 maternal deaths and more than 500,000 infant deaths every year, according to the Preeclampsia Foundation. Early onset preeclampsia is the most dangerous form of this disease.

Known worldwide as 'the silent killer', preeclampsia is a disorder that occurs during pregnancy and after delivery. It is characterized by high blood pressure and the presence of protein in maternal urine. However, preeclampsia can affect other organs such as the liver, the kidney, the brain. Sometimes mothers develop seizures (eclampsia) and have intracranial haemorrhage which is the main cause of death. In some instances, women develop blindness when pree
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SOURCE Journal of Maternal-Fetal & Neonatal Medicine
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