Preeclampsia is a pregnancy complication characterised by high blood pressure and signs of damage to another organ system, most often the liver and kidneys. Preeclampsia usually begins after 20 weeks of pregnancy in women whose blood pressure had been normal. Even a slight rise in blood pressure may be a sign of Preeclampsia.
Left untreated, Preeclampsia can lead to serious — even fatal — complications for both expectant mother and baby. Expectant mothers who suffer from Preeclampsia can only cure the condition by delivering the baby. If left untreated, it may result in seizures at which point it is known as eclampsia. (MayoClinic.org)
Expectant mothers diagnosed with Preeclampsia too early in their pregnancy term to deliver their baby, will face a challenging task. While the foetus needs more time to mature, the expectant mother needs to avoid putting herself and her baby at risk of serious complications.
Preeclampsia appears to be due to the release of angiogenic factors from the placenta that induce endothelial dysfunction. Serum levels of PLGF (placental growth factor) and SFLT-1 (soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase-1, also known as VEFG receptor-1) are altered in women with Preeclampsia.
PLGF is the pro-angiogenic protein that promotes the formation of new blood vessels from existing ones, which is essential for a successful pregnancy. On the other hand, SFLT-1 is the anti-angiogenic protein that inhibits the activity of PLGF.
Quest is pleased to offer a Preeclampsia screening test utilising the ratio between PLGF and SFLT -1 as a risk indicator. Studies had also shown that the imbalance in PLGF and SFLT-1 can be detected as early as 5 weeks prior to the onset of Preeclampsia.
Patients are advised to consult obstetricians on eligibility before taking these tests. Early screening and detection of potential conditions enables expectant mothers to make informed decisions and address baby’s health needs.