Air Pollution Increases Preeclampsia Risk in Pregnant Women

Preeclampsia is one of the world’s most dangerous pregnancy-related conditions, but it may have just gotten a little easier to diagnose thanks to a new, simple test.

Researchers from The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and Nationwide Children’s Hospitalhave developed a rapid test to diagnose preeclampsia, which would be both affordable and non-invasive. The test is a “red dye-on paper” variety, and has been piloted in a clinical study with an accuracy rate of 86 percent. Named Congo Red Dot, the test was developed to reduce morbidity among expecting mothers and their unborn children.

Preeclampsia is estimated to affect 5 to 8 percent of pregnancies worldwide, and is responsible for about 18 percent of maternal deaths in the U.S. Hallmarked by high blood pressure and protein in the urine, the condition is the number one reason clinicians decide to deliver infants prematurely. Premature birth is a concern, in turn, because it increases the risk of learning disabilities and cerebral palsy. Preeclampsia can also lead to eclampsia, which causes 13 percent of maternal deaths globally, and can cause maternal and infant illnesses like seizure and coma. Experts have described preeclampsia as mysterious due to doctors’ difficulty diagnosing it.

Dr. Kara Rood, first author of the project detailing the new preeclampsia test, presented the findings at the Society of Maternal-Fetal Medicine’s annual pregnancy meeting in Atlanta.

“This is the first clinical study using the point-of-care, paper-based Congo Red Dot diagnostic test, and the mechanism proved superior in establishing or ruling out a diagnosis of preeclampsia,” Rood said in apress release. “Our findings will have a huge impact on the health of women and children.”

For the study, the researchers enrolled 346 pregnant women to take the CRD urine test. Trained nurses analyzed the results, and administered additional biochemical tests for preeclampsia. Eighty-nine percent of the women met the clinical diagnosis of preeclampsia, and 79 percent of the women had a medically-indicated preterm birth for preeclampsia, at an average delivery time of 33 weeks gestation. The test, with its 86 percent accuracy rate, proved itself as a simple, “sample in/answer out” clinical tool, according to Rood.

A few years ago, Dr. Irina A. Buhimschi, director of the Center for Perinatal Research in The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s, led a team to discover preeclampsia may result from improperly folded proteins. They studied the urine of pregnant women with preeclampsia, and characterized the range of misfolded proteins to allow the creation of the CRD test. Initial results were published in 2014.

“This new point-of-care test is a more user-friendly version than the one in this publication, and can help identify preeclampsia even before clinical symptoms appear,” Buhimschi said.

Source: Rood K, Buhimschi C, Dible T, Webster S, Zhao G, Samuels P, et al. Point-of-care congo red dot (CRD) test for antenatal triage and rapid identification of preeclampsia (PE). American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. 2016.



SEE HERE : What writer had written in a letter to preeclampsia ?

An Open Letter to Preeclampsia

By Rhiannon Giles of

Dear Preeclampsia,

You have been the friend every woman longs for during the exhausting final months of pregnancy. Your thoughtfulness was extraordinary — you saw clearly my need for rest and relaxation during such a stressful time.

Sure, I would have preferred a nice hotel and massage, but three weeks on an intermittently-inflating bed and 5 a.m. blood draws were a close approximation. While not having to get out of bed to pee was a nice touch, I have to say that I would have liked a chance to look into what other spa services were available. The staff was a little pushy, checking on me every three hours, but they refilled my water as needed.

Please don’t think me ungrateful; I know you were looking out for my best interests, making sure I was taken care of with food delivered moderately warm and unsalted right to my bed. At least when I was able to eat at all — that was one of your most creative gifts, a nice magnesium cleanse to help me get a head start on losing the baby weight.

You know I support the arts, so you arranged for the IV pump to sing me the song of its people at unpredictable intervals, and you even gave me a head start on the whole adult coloring book craze.

You went out of your way to help me avoid stretch marks and torn lady bits and outdid yourself in your commitment to avoiding the woes of the third trimester. No way would I have gotten my body back as quickly if I’d carried the pregnancy to term!

Whereas many pregnancy illnesses are nothing more than an annoyance, you helped me meet my dear son two months earlier than I could have dreamed. I was then relieved of the burden that comes with a screaming baby in the middle of the night, since you arranged for him to stay right there in the hospital for five weeks.

You thought of everything!

But did you have to try to kill me? It really sends a girl mixed signals.

Rhiannon Giles