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Lancet. 1990 Jun 30;335(8705):1552-5.

Doppler ultrasound and aspirin in recognition and prevention of pregnancy-induced hypertension.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, St George's Hospital Medical School, London, UK.


Screening of 1226 nulliparous women by means of doppler uteroplacental flow-velocity waveforms in early pregnancy identified 148 (12%) as being at high risk of pregnancy-induced hypertension. After exclusions and refusals, 100 women were randomly allocated to groups receiving either low-dose aspirin (75 mg daily; 48 patients) or identical placebo (52 patients) for the remainder of the pregnancy. The difference between the aspirin and placebo groups in the frequency of pregnancy-induced hypertension (13% vs 25%) did not achieve significance, but there were significant differences in the frequencies of proteinuric hypertension (2% vs 19%) and hypertension occurring before 37 weeks' gestation (0% vs 17%). Fewer aspirin-treated than placebo-treated women had low birthweight babies (15% vs 25%), but this difference was not significant. The only perinatal death in the aspirin group followed a cord accident during labour, whereas the 3 perinatal deaths in the placebo group were all due to severe hypertensive disease. No maternal or neonatal side-effects were observed in either group.

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