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Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 1993 Oct 29;51(3):175-80.

Management of severe, early pre-eclampsia: is conservative management justified?

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  • 1Royal Liverpool University Hospital, UK.


A retrospective analysis was performed to assess the fetal and maternal benefits of allowing women presenting with severe pre-eclampsia between 24 and 32 weeks to continue their pregnancy following treatment of their hypertension. Cases presenting in Oxford (conservative management) and in Birmingham (stabilisation and early intervention) were compared. Patients were considered to require treatment when their systolic blood pressure was > or = 170 mmHg systolic or > or = 110 mmHg diastolic, associated with at least 1+ proteinuria and hyperuricaemia. We compared gestation at delivery, birth weight and neonatal complications for each group, and any maternal morbidity. There were 28 patients in each group. Gestational age at delivery was significantly less in the group managed by early intervention. Those women managed conservatively gained a mean of 9.5 days (range 2-26 days; P < 0.05), and their birthweight was significantly greater (P < 0.05). There was a significant difference between the length of stay in the neonatal intensive care unit between the 2 groups (P < 0.05), the babies of those women managed conservatively staying a mean of 7.4 days less. There were fewer neonatal complications in those cases managed conservatively, the number of newborns with 1 or more complications in the early intervention group being 18 (64.3%), compared with 8 (28.6%) in the expectant management group (P = 0.0001). All of the women in the group managed by early intervention recovered with no severe complications. However, those women managed conservatively had a higher incidence of HELLP (2 cases) and ELLP syndrome (2 cases), 1 case requiring temporary renal dialysis.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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