Methodological and technical issues related to the diagnosis, screening, prevention, and treatment of pre-eclampsia and eclampsia.
Villar J., Say L., Shennan A., Lindheimer M., Duley L., Conde-Agudelo A., Merialdi M.
In contrast with advances made in treating or eliminating many other serious disorders, severe morbidity and mortality associated with pre-eclampsia/eclampsia remain among the leading problems that threaten safe motherhood, particularly in developing countries. This article reviews technical issues related to diagnosis, screening, prevention, and treatment of pre-eclampsia and identifies corresponding needs. The authors stress the lack of standardized definitions of pre-eclampsia and eclampsia and discuss problems in blood-pressure measurements and assessment of urinary protein. They summarize the evidence for prevention strategies and screening tests for early detection. For treatment, magnesium sulfate has been proven effective, but not widely used. The authors outline priorities for narrowing the identified gaps and emphasize the need for coordinated efforts to reduce the morbidity and mortality due to pre-eclampsia/eclampsia. They conclude that the mystery of this disease must be resolved to achieve primary prevention of it.