FROM ULTRASOUND IN OBSTETRICS & GYNECOLOGY
Screening for preeclampsia using the United Kingdom’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines detects only about one-third of cases, according to a study published in Ultrasound in Obstetrics & Gynecology.
The United Kingdom-based prospective multicenter study, involving 16,747 singleton pregnancies, also looked at the effectiveness of a screening method that used Bayes’ theorem to combine maternal risk factors with biomarkers.
Preeclampsia developed in 473 (2.8%) pregnancies, and in 142 cases (0.8%) this led to preterm birth.
The NICE method of screening labels as high-risk women who have one major risk factor – such as a history of hypertensive disease in pregnancy or chronic kidney disease – or two moderate factors, including first pregnancy older than 40 years or a family history of preeclampsia.
This method of screening detected 30.4% of the cases of preeclampsia that developed and 40.8% of the cases that resulted in pre-term birth. The overall screen-positive rate by the NICE method was 10.3% of all participants in the study (1,727 women).
The Bayes’ theorem-based method assessed maternal risk factors in combination with mean arterial pressure and serum pregnancy-associated plasma protein-A. The detection rate for all preeclampsia using this method was 42.5%, representing an improvement of 11.3% over the NICE method, after adjusting for the effects of aspirin use in both groups. Researchers also examined the effect of adding in the biomarkers of uterine artery pulsatility index and serum placental growth factor, and found this detected 82.4% of preterm preeclampsia.
“The performance of screening by a combination of maternal factors with biomarkers was far superior to that of screening by NICE guidelines,” wrote Min Yi Tan, MD, of King’s College Hospital in London, and co-authors.