Study Sheds Light On Pregnancy-Induced Hypertension (Preeclampsia)
New research on preeclampsia (pregnancy-induced hypertension), shows that this pregnancy complication could be detected and treated better and faster. According to a study led by Cleveland Clinic’s Lerner Researchers in Research Institute, corin deficiency, an enzyme present in physiological conditions in the heart tissue, is correlated with the risk of developing preeclampsia.
Researchers at the Cleveland Clinic’s Lerner Research Institute conducted a study on mice and found that corin deficit in the uterus may be the underlying cause of the disease. Furthermore, the study was then extended to patients with preeclampsia, which were found to have low levels of corin in the uterus. Also, these patients were identified to have mutations in the corin gene. Qingyu Wu, MD, Ph.D., a researcher in the Department of Molecular Cardiology at Cleveland Clinic’s Lerner Research Institute and the lead researcher on the study, explained that future research focused on corina will lead to new ways to diagnosis and treat preeclampsia.
Pregnancy induced hypertension is a major cause of natal and perinatal mortality and morbidity. An estimated 10% of pregnant women suffer from this complication whose causes are not fully known. This complication usually occurs in late pregnancy but there has been reported that preeclampsia and eclampsia may also occur postpartum. Usually, the disease is manifested by headache, pain in right hypochondrium or epigastrium, edema, neurological deficits, visual field deficits, proteinuria, and tendency to bleeding, such as epistaxis. Eclampsia is the final phase of pre-eclampsia characterized by seizures associated with hypertension. Preeclampsia is associated with HELLP syndrome, low platelets, elevated liver enzymes, and hemolysis.
Risk factors for preeclampsia include hypertension, personal or family history of hypertension, age to 20 years, multiple pregnancy, diabetes, other vascular diseases, hidatiforma mole. There are several theories on the cause of preeclampsia. One of them is endothelial dysfunction, which emphasises the idea that preeclampsia may occur as a result of the increase of anti-angiogenic factors such as endoglin.
To date, there is no way to prevent preeclampsia, and the only treatment of the disease is the delivery. If the fetus is sufficiently developed, that is under 37 weeks, it is recommended that pregnant rest as much, eat less salt, and constantly monitor blood pressure. Of course, all these should obviously be under medical supervision. If hypertension is severe, the pregnant must take antihipertensive medication. Consequences of untreated preeclampsia may be on the one hand, death in utero or death to birth, and on the other hand, eclampsia, acute renal failure, massive bleeding and other bleeding disorders.