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Hypertens Pregnancy. 2000;19(2):221-31.

Mortality and morbidity associated with early-onset preeclampsia.

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St. Michael's Hospital, Southwell St., Bristol, United Kingdom.



To examine the management of early-onset preeclampsia and its maternal and fetal morbidity and mortality.


Retrospective cohort study of 49,812 births at a university teaching hospital between June 1986 and March 1997. Seventy-one women were identified with a diagnosis of preeclampsia with an onset at less than 30 completed weeks of gestation.


The incidence of very preterm preeclampsia was 1 in 682 total births. The mean diagnosis to delivery interval (range) was 14 days (0-49 days). There were no maternal deaths. Fifteen women (21%) had developed HELLP/ELLP syndrome, 9 (13%) had renal failure, 1 (1.4%) had eclampsia, and 11 (15%) had an abruption. Five women (7%) had a termination of pregnancy, 57 (80%) were delivered by cesarean section, and 4 (5%) required a classical incision. There were 12 intrauterine deaths (16%), 9 neonatal deaths (12%), and 52 neonatal survivors (72%). Two of the survivors were known to have neurological impairment at the 2-year follow-up.


A conservative approach to the management of early-onset preeclampsia results in a good obstetric outcome for the majority of fetuses, but this must be balanced against the significant risk of morbidity to the mothers.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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