Health Questions and Answers

Question: What fetal and maternal risks are associated with preeclampsia?

Answer:

Fetal risks include:

  • Growth restriction
  • Oligohydramnios
  • Placental infarction
  • Placental abruption
  • Consequences of prematurity (when maternal disease necessitates delivery remote from term)
  • Uteroplacental insufficiency
  • Perinatal death

Maternal risks include:

  • Central nervous system manifestations, including seizures and stroke
  • Disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) and its complications
  • Increased likelihood of cesarean delivery
  • Renal failure
  • Hepatic failure or rupture
  • Death

Preeclampsia is a leading cause of maternal mortality. However, most patients who survive, even those who suffer strokes, suffer no long-term sequelae.

Reference:   American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists: Diagnosis and Management of Preeclampsia and Eclampsia. ACOG Practice Bulletin No. 33. Obstet Gynecol 99:159-167, 2002

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