New test helps detect preeclampsia earlier

. May 31, 2019.

About one in 20 women develop preeclampsia during pregnancy, which can be life-threatening to both mom and baby. It’s difficult to diagnose though, because symptoms often mimic those of a normal pregnancy, such as swelling and headaches. Managing preeclampsia early is critical to keeping mom and baby safe. In a new study, researchers at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center found a simple urine test could easily and accurately diagnoses the condition in just minutes. The test uses a special red dye that reacts to unique proteins in the urine of pregnant women with preeclampsia.

“Without the certainty of this test, providers tend to be overcautious because this is definitely a condition that we can’t allow to go untreated,” said Dr. Kara Rood, lead author of the study and maternal-fetal medicine physician at the Wexner Center. “This test helps us to quickly provide care to women with preeclampsia, while avoiding unnecessary admissions or even early deliveries. The quicker we can identify women with the condition, the better chance they have of carrying their babies to full term and having a healthy delivery.”