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Preeclampsia UPSC NOTE



  • Preeclampsia is a complication of pregnancy.

  • With preeclampsia, you might have high blood pressure, high levels of protein in urine that indicate kidney damage (proteinuria), or other signs of organ damage. 

  • Preeclampsia usually begins after 20 weeks of pregnancy in women whose blood pressure had previously been in the standard range.

  • Left untreated, preeclampsia can lead to serious — even fatal — complications for both the mother and baby.

  • Early delivery of the baby is often recommended. 

  • The timing of delivery depends on how severe the preeclampsia is and how many weeks pregnant you are. 

  • Before delivery, preeclampsia treatment includes careful monitoring and medications to lower blood pressure and manage complications.

  • Preeclampsia may develop after delivery of a baby, a condition known as postpartum preeclampsia.


  • The defining feature of preeclampsia is high blood pressure, proteinuria, or other signs of damage to the kidneys or other organs. 

  • You may have no noticeable symptoms. 

  • Along with high blood pressure, preeclampsia signs and symptoms may include:

  • Excess protein in urine (proteinuria) or other signs of kidney problems.

  • Decreased levels of platelets in blood (thrombocytopenia).

  • Increased liver enzymes that indicate liver problems.

  • Severe headaches

  • Changes in vision, including temporary loss of vision, blurred vision or light sensitivity.

  • Shortness of breath, caused by fluid in the lungs.

  • Pain in the upper belly, usually under the ribs on the right side

  • Nausea or vomiting

  • Weight gain and swelling (edema) are typical during healthy pregnancies. However, sudden weight gain or a sudden appearance of edema — particularly in your face and hands — may be a sign of preeclampsia.


  • The exact cause of preeclampsia likely involves several factors. 

  • Experts believe it begins in the placenta — the organ that nourishes the fetus throughout pregnancy. 

  • Early in a pregnancy, new blood vessels develop and evolve to supply oxygen and nutrients to the placenta.

  • In women with preeclampsia, these blood vessels don't seem to develop or work properly.

  • Problems with how well blood circulates in the placenta may lead to the irregular regulation of blood pressure in the mother.

Early prediction of preeclampsia using a biomarker

  • Early-onset preeclampsia — occurring before 34 weeks of gestation — is associated with a higher risk of severe disease and foetal mortality.

  • Among the few interventions available, low-dose aspirin at early stages of the disease (before 16 weeks of gestation) can reduce the risk of developing preeclampsia.

  • But early identification of the disease is needed to initiate this intervention. 

  • A liquid-biopsy approach that measures DNA-methylation levels in the blood may improve the detection of pregnancies at risk of developing preeclampsia at early stages, a study published in Nature Medicine shows.

  • Previous studies have shown that widespread methylation changes in the placenta occur at delivery.

  • Liquid biopsy is a promising emerging tool for non-invasive diagnostics, and it is increasingly being used to detect disease and monitor progression and treatment response.



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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Preeclampsia UPSC NOTE
Preeclampsia UPSC NOTE
Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
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