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Treatment of Hypertensive Complications in Pregnancy

[ Vol. 11 , Issue. 6 ]


K. H. Coppage and B. M. Sibai   Pages 749 - 757 ( 9 )


Hypertension is the most common medical disorder during pregnancy [1]. Approximately 70 percent of women diagnosed with hypertension during pregnancy will have gestational hypertension-preeclampsia. The term gestational hypertension-preeclampsia is used to describe a wide spectrum of patients who may have only mild elevation in blood pressure to those with severe hypertension with various organ dysfunctions (acute gestational hypertension, preeclampsia, eclampsia, and the syndrome of hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes, and low platelets (HELLP syndrome). The exact incidence of gestational hypertension-preeclampsia in the United States is unknown. Estimates range from 6% to 8% of all pregnancies [1]. The treatment of hypertensive disorders in pregnancy requires careful assessment of the maternal and fetal conditions. Therapeutic decisions must take into account fetal age, maternal symptoms, tests of fetal well-being, as well as maternal status, in order to ensure the best overall outcome. Treatment of mild gestational hypertension with antihypertensive medications has not been shown to improve outcome, however, in cases of severe disease treatment has been shown to be beneficial. The purpose of this review is to discuss the different treatment modalities used in the hypertensive disorders of pregnancy. Management strategies will not be discussed.


pregnancy, hypertension, preeclampsia, treatment


Professor and Chairman, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Cincinnati, 231Albert Sabin Way, M/L 0526, Cincinnati, Ohio 45267-0526.

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