K02 -- January 2010 -- New Test for Preeclampsia
Intro: Pregnancy is a time of wonder, anticipation, joy and sometimes morning sickness. But for women who develop a condition called preeclampsia, pregnancy can be deadly. Researchers at Mayo Clinic are working to stop this condition from happening. They've developed a new test to determine which women are at risk. And that information may help save moms and babies.
"I JUST STARTED FEELING REALLY TIRED. I HAD SEVERE HEADACHES."
WHAT JENIFER SERVAIS DIDN'T REALIZE AT THE TIME WAS THAT THE SYMPTOMS THAT STARTED DURING HER THIRD TRIMESTER, WERE CAUSED BY PREECLAMPSIA. A POTENTIALLY DEADLY CONDITION THAT CAUSES HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE AND PROTEIN IN THE URINE DURING PREGNANCY. THE DISEASE HAS BEEN THE LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH OF PREGNANT WOMEN FOR GENERATIONS.
"TREATMENT NOW A DAYS IS THE SAME AS IT WAS HUNDREDS OF YEARS AGO, WHICH IS DELIVERY."
THAT MEANS, WOMEN WITH SEVERE PREECLAMPSIA, LIKE JENIFER, MAY HAVE TO DELIVER THEIR BABIES PREMATURELY OR RISK SERIOUS COMPLICATIONS FOR BOTH MOM AND THE BABY.
"HE WAS BORN AT 30 WEEKS."
YOU SEE, PREECLAMPSIA, WHICH HAPPENS USUALLY AFTER 20 WEEKS OF PREGNANCY, CAUSES DAMAGE TO BLOOD VESSELS, INCLUDING ARTERIES THAT LEAD TO THE PLACENTA. THIS IS WHAT CAUSES BLOOD PRESSURE TO RISE AND PROTEIN TO END UP IN THE URINE. DR. VESNA GAROVIC AND HER TEAM ARE DEVELOPING A UNIQUE URINE TEST THAT IDENTIFIES HIGHLY SPECIALIZED KIDNEY CELLS IN THE URINE. IF POSITIVE, THIS TEST MAY PREDICT PREECLAMPSIA UP TO 12 WEEKS BEFORE ANY SYMPTOMS DEVELOP.
"IF WE CAN SUCCESSFULLY PREDICT PREECLAMPSIA, WE STILL DON'T HAVE A SPECIFIC TREATMENT, HOWEVER, THESE WOMEN WOULD THEN BE CLOSELY FOLLOWED FOR HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE AND TREATED IN A TIMELY FASHION. JUST TREATING THE HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE CAN PREVENT SEVERE CONSEQUENCES SUCH AS STROKE, HEART PROBLEMS AND KIDNEY PROBLEMS."
AND IF MOM STAYS HEALTHY, THERE'S A BETTER CHANCE THAT SHE WILL GO FULL TERM AND DELIVER A HEALTHY BABY.
FOR MEDICAL EDGE, I'M VIVIEN WILLIAMS.
Anchor tag:Dr. Garovic says this test is still in the research phase, but she hopes it will become available for use in the near future. She also says, if you develop vision problems, dizziness, severe headache or sudden weight gain during pregnancy, see your doctor immediately.
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