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Test could soon diagnose pre-eclampsia

After an unprecedented scientific breakthrough, experts plan to develop an easy to use diagnostic kit in the next five years that could diagnose pre-eclampsia in pregnant women.  

Pre-eclampsia affects one in ten pregnant women and accounts for up to 15% of premature deliveries.

It is predicted a pre-eclampsia diagnostic kit could save the NHS £500 a year due to the reduction in care needed for mother and baby.

The team has been able to distinguish between pregnant women with and without pre-eclampsia by studying blood plasma samples.

Lead study author Julie Fisher said: “The concentration of certain chemicals such as amino acids and fat in the boy has been found to vary 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 while others decrease.”

Author Jimmy Walker added: “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 baby as well as the health service.”

University of Leeds