Pre-eclampsia test 'unreliable'

Measuring protein levels in the urine of women with pre-eclampsia fails to predict fetal or maternal outcomes, research suggests.

The findings question current practice, which relies heavily on proteinuria as a test for diagnosing and predicting outcomes.

For this study, researchers reviewed 16 studies involving 6,749 women who had pre-eclampsia. Overall, they found that proteinuria was a poor predictor of maternal and fetal complications.

Lead researcher Dr Shakila Thangaratinam, of Birmingham Women's Hospital, said: 'Our review has shown proteinuria levels in pre-eclampsia to be poor predictors of adverse maternal and fetal outcomes.

'We need studies to estimate the risk of complications, especially in the subgroup of women who have pre-eclampsia before 34 weeks when the management decision is often critical.'

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