Sunday, 26 September 2010

MRCP revision battle 21.7: Pre eclampsia and HELLP syndrome

Pre-eclampsia is defined as:
  • gestational hypertension
  • proteinuria
  • occurring after 20 weeks gestation
Oedema is often a feature.
Possible symptoms include blurred vision, headache and abdominal pain.

Treatment is to lower blood pressure but ultimately the only way to treat pre-eclampsia which is advancing towards eclampsia (=fit) is to deliver the baby.

HELLP syndrome is a severe form of pre-eclampsia characterised by:
  • haemolysis
  • elevated liver enzymes
  • low platelets

It complicates 10-15% of cases of pre-eclapsia.
Mortality is 20-25%

The treatment for eclampsia is IV magnesium sulphate

Now to the final battle of the day