By Kelly Young
In cases of suspected preeclampsia, measuring levels of placental growth factor (PlGF) and incorporating results into a management algorithm is associated with shorter time to diagnosis, according to a study in The Lancet.
Over 1000 pregnant women with suspected, but not confirmed, preeclampsia before 37 weeks’ gestation had blood samples tested for PlGF. Maternity care units began with concealing test results and managing according to usual care. Sites transitioned to having their test results revealed and using them to inform care.
Overall, about 35% of women were diagnosed with preeclampsia. The time to a documented preeclampsia diagnosis — the primary outcome — was significantly shorter in the revealed PlGF group (1.9 vs. 4.1 days in the concealed group). The revealed test group also had lower rates of maternal adverse events.
Dr. Andrew Kaunitz, editor-in-chief of NEJM Journal Watch Women’s Health, comments: “This large, well-conducted UK trial, suggests that measuring levels of placental growth factor allows clinicians to expedite the diagnosis of preeclampsia and improve maternal outcomes. If more research supports the utility of measuring this angiogenic factor in women at risk for preeclampsia, such testing might become standard of care.”