Preeclampsia is one of the most challenging and high-risk conditions that obstetric specialists will confront in their clinical practices.
This condition continues to be a vexing problem because the etiology remains evasive, not only in its onset, but often in its manifestations and complications as well.
Patients who develop preeclampsia fall into three categories. One subset of patients develops preeclampsia that remains mild and does not cause any major complications. Another subset develops a more advanced preeclampsia with some complications that are usually manageable, often without grave risk to the pregnancy.
The third subset of patients develops a severe form of preeclampsia based on precise, defined criteria. This form of preeclampsia may present in premature pregnancies, where the condition creates the greatest challenge and raises a clinical conundrum: Is it best to deliver the patient, or to embrace expectant management?
Because the severe form of preeclampsia is such a difficult problem and the outcome of the pregnancy hinges on the clinician's choice of the right approach, we thought it was important to dedicate a Master Class to the management of these high-risk patients.
I have invited Dr. Baha M. Sibai, an international expert on preeclampsia and eclampsia and a world leader in both clinical care and research in this field, to provide a thorough discussion of this difficult topic.
Dr. Sibai is professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Cincinnati and has contributed to more than 350 studies in peer-reviewed journals on the subject of preeclampsia and eclampsia.