Hypertension during pregnancy

Published on 10/03/2015 by admin

Filed under Obstetrics & Gynecology

Last modified 10/03/2015

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Hypertension is defined as systolic blood pressure of 140 or higher, a diastolic blood pressure of 90 or higher, or both. Women with hypertension during pregnancy need to be monitored carefully because of the significant risk of morbidity and mortality in the mother, fetus, and newborn. Hypertension during pregnancy is classified as gestational hypertension, preeclampsia, eclampsia, or chronic hypertension.

Gestational hypertension is hypertension that develops after 20 weeks of pregnancy and resolves by 12 weeks post partum. About 25% of women with gestational hypertension develop preeclampsia. Preeclampsia is gestational hypertension that is associated with proteinuria (≥0.3 g of protein/24 hours). Eclampsia is the presence of seizures in a pregnant woman with preeclampsia.

Risk factors for preeclampsia include first pregnancy, multiple fetuses, chronic hypertension, diabetes, renal disease, thrombophilia, vascular and connective tissue disease, obesity, maternal age of greater than 35 years, or maternal age of less than 20 years.

Chronic hypertension is hypertension that starts before the 20th week of pregnancy. Patients with chronic hypertension are at considerable risk of developing superimposed preeclampsia. Possible complications of chronic hypertension include preterm labor, intrauterine growth restriction, fetal death, and placental abruption.

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