New research could lead to diagnosis of preeclampsia in the first trimester

NewsGuard 100/100 Score

Preeclampsia is generally diagnosed later in pregnancy, but new research could lead to diagnosis in the first trimester, improving care and potentially leading to the development of preventative measures.

Preeclampsia is characterized by high blood pressure and high levels of protein in the urine. It can lead to serious complications for the mother and baby, including reduced growth of the baby; seizures, stroke and multi-organ failure in the mother; or death of the mother or child. Often, the only cure is preterm delivery. New research to be presented at Cardiovascular, Renal and Metabolic Diseases: Physiology and Gender reports that the protein copeptin can predict the development of preeclampsia as early as six weeks of gestation.

This development is significant, says lead investigator Mark Santillan, MD, because early identification of women at high risk of developing preeclampsia will enable health care providers to quickly respond and provide the appropriate level of care. "Clinically, this timeframe is the earliest a woman can find out if she is pregnant by an over-the-counter pregnancy test. A similar simple test could be developed to predict preeclampsia via copeptin," Santillan says.

Copeptin is a byproduct of the protein arginine vasopressin (AVP). The research, conducted at the University of Iowa, also found that pregnant mice given AVP throughout pregnancy showed all the cardiovascular, kidney, obstetrics and immune components of human preeclampsia. Together, the mouse and human data suggest that AVP is involved in initiating preeclampsia. Targeting its pathway could potentially treat, prevent and even cure preeclampsia, says Santillan.

Santillan will present "Vasopressin: A New Beginning for the End of Preeclampsia?" as part of the symposium "Pregnancy and Pre-eclampsia" on Friday, Nov. 20, at 8:40 AM in Wye Room of the Crowne Plaza Annapolis Hotel.

Comments

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
Post a new comment
Post

While we only use edited and approved content for Azthena answers, it may on occasions provide incorrect responses. Please confirm any data provided with the related suppliers or authors. We do not provide medical advice, if you search for medical information you must always consult a medical professional before acting on any information provided.

Your questions, but not your email details will be shared with OpenAI and retained for 30 days in accordance with their privacy principles.

Please do not ask questions that use sensitive or confidential information.

Read the full Terms & Conditions.

You might also like...
Pregnancy speeds up biological aging in women, study suggests