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First Blood Test to Predict Preeclampsia in Pregnant Women Approved by FDA


A recently authorised blood test that detects preeclampsia may be useful for thousands of pregnant women.

Preeclampsia is a potentially fatal condition in which a pregnant individual who had never before had high blood pressure suddenly gets it. The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that preeclampsia affects one in every 25 pregnancies in the United States each year.

Thermo Fisher Scientific’s cutting-edge biomarker test can predict, with 94% accuracy, whether or not a pregnant woman will experience severe preeclampsia over the following two weeks. Although the test has been in use for almost ten years in Europe, it was only recently approved for use in the US.

In American hospitals, the test is currently being introduced gradually.

There are many levels of preeclampsia. The test will assist medical professionals in determining which patients are most vulnerable to developing severe forms of the illness, which can result in seizures (a condition known as eclampsia), preterm birth, harm to or death of both mother and child, or both.

The test is intended to be utilised on women who have previously received a preeclampsia diagnosis or who are exhibiting symptoms, rather than on all pregnant women.

“The purpose is to predict who will have severe preeclampsia,” said Anum Minhas, MD, an assistant professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins Medicine, who specializes in cardio-obstetrics and cardiovascular disease in women. “In that case, those women may be hospitalized early to be monitored or need to have their babies early.”

Placental growth factor (PlGF) and sFlt-1, two biomarkers that show placental health, are combined in the novel test. In a hospital’s diagnostics lab, both tests are completed in about 30 minutes.

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