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Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1986 Sep;155(3):501-9.

Maternal-perinatal outcome associated with the syndrome of hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes, and low platelets in severe preeclampsia-eclampsia.


During an 8-year period, 112 severe preeclamptic-eclamptic patients with the above syndrome were studied. The incidence of this syndrome was significantly higher in white patients, in patients with delayed diagnosis of preeclampsia and/or delayed delivery, and in multiparous patients. Twenty-six patients had amniocentesis and 16 received epidural anesthetics. There was one maternal bleeding episode associated with epidural anesthetics. The use of steroids in 17 patients did not improve maternal platelet count. The overall perinatal mortality was 367 per 1000 and neonatal morbidity was significant. There were two maternal deaths and two patients with ruptured liver hematoma, and nine had acute renal failure. Thirty-eight percent had intravascular coagulopathy and 20% had abruptio placentae. On follow-up, 44 patients used oral contraceptives without maternal morbidity and 38 patients had 49 subsequent pregnancies. Only one patient had recurrence of the syndrome in subsequent pregnancies. The presence of a "true" syndrome of hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes, and low platelets (HELLP syndrome) in preeclampsia is associated with poor maternal-perinatal outcome.

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