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Test for pre-eclampsia developed in the U.S.

Published on 14/11/2011

A test carried out during pregnancy could predict whether a woman will develop pre-eclampsia, according to researchers in the U.S.

Pre-eclampsia is a potentially fatal condition which appears in the late stages of pregnancy. It is characterised by high blood pressure and excess protein in the urine.

In the study, scientists tested 300 women for specific kidney cells in their urine, called podocytes. The team had previously found podocytes present in patients with pre-eclampsia when they gave birth.

The results, presented to the American Society of Nephrology, showed that all the women who went on to develop pre-eclampsia had podocytes in their urine. None of the 15 who went on to develop high blood pressure or 44 healthy women did.

Professor Andrew Shennan, from St Thomas Hospital, said: “Being able to use a simple accurate test in pregnancy would be valuable in identifying those women to watch closely.”

Ann Marie Barnard, chief executive of Action on Pre-Eclampsia, said an accurate test would help many women.

"Any test which can predict whether they are going to get it again has to be welcomed - while it cannot stop the disease occurring, it would enable services to be more closely focused on them and more alert to signs of the disease developing."

Private medical insurance will not cover health pregnancies or birth, because pregnancy is not considered to be a medical condition. However, some health insurance policies will cover complications related to pregnancy.

Compare health insurance quotes online now to find out more about being covered for pre-eclampsia.

© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2011


Categories:  Medical
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