Preeclampsia is generally associated with high blood pressure and protein in the urine, and can be life-threatening to both the woman and baby condition, particularly if it is diagnosed too late.


Thankfully, a new blood test is being developed that may help doctors identify those patients who are most at risk of developing the condition.


Researchers recruited 1,273 expectant mums from 14 different countries with high-risk preeclampsia for their study PROGNOSIS, and found that the blood test, which compares the ratio of two proteins produced by the placenta, can be used to predict if the woman will develop the condition.


The test, which can be used in the absence of symptoms, found that women with a ratio of 38 or lower were at no risk for developing the condition within a week. 



According to News Medical, hypertension and the increased amount of protein in urine are unreliable in predicting the condition and its seriousness.


“The main problem with preeclampsia is that clinical presentation is variable and symptoms are often too nonspecific to allow a clear diagnosis. The new blood test can help us better predict the risk of disease onset or its progression,” explained Dr. Stefan Verlohren, the study's corresponding author.


Talking about the potential for the new test,  Dr. Verlohren, from Charité's Department of Obstetrics, added: "This allows us to avoid preterm deliveries and delays in starting treatment. The main thing, however, is the fact that it is now possible to reliably rule out disease onset for one week; this will considerably reduce anxiety for the mother."