Health Questions and Answers

Question: What is the definition of chronic hypertension with superimposed preeclampsia?

Answer:

If a woman with known chronic hypertension develops increased blood pressures along with proteinuria, this is defined as surperimposed preeclampsia.
It can be difficult to distinguish clinically between worsening of chronic hypertension and the development of superimposed preeclampsia. The development of proteinuria and the presence of other abnormalities associated with preeclampsia (e.g., headache, visual disturbances, elevated liver enzymes) assist with the diagnosis.

Reference: Roberts JM: Pregnancy-related hypertension. In Creasy R, Resnik R (eds): Maternal-Fetal Medicine: Principles and Practice, 3rd ed. Philadelphia, W.B. Saunders, 1994, pp 804-843.

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