Preeclampsia: etiopathogenesis, diagnosis, treatment and prevention

Natalija Markevičiūtė1, Karina Brizickaja1

1 Faculty of Medicine, Medical Academy, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Kaunas, Lithuania


Preeclampsia is a pregnancy-specific disease characterized by hypertension and proteinuria. Preeclampsia develops as an immune response to the increased amount of placental antiangiogenic factors resulting in endothelial dysfunction. Endothelial dysfunction causes clinical manifestations of preeclampsia. The most common risk factors for this disease are first pregnancy, preeclampsia in previous pregnancies and various chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes mellitus, autoimmune or kidney diseases. The diagnosis is made based on high blood pressure detection and evidence of proteinuria or another organ damage. Obstetricians are searching for new diagnostic methods that can predict the development of preeclampsia. Management of preeclampsia includes hypertension treatment, eclampsia prophylaxis and delivery. The timing of delivery is guided individually by weighting the risk of preterm delivery to the child against the risk of continuing pregnancy to the mother. Preeclampsia may lead to life-threatening complications. Therefore, it is important to recognize preeclampsia and provide appropriate treatment as soon as possible. This review reveals the key aspects of etiopathogenesis, diagnosis, management and prevention of preeclampsia.

Keywords: preeclampsia, gestational hypertension, proteinuria, pregnancy.