Pregnancy/Maternity

Research: New Rapid Test for Preeclampsia Can Provide Life-Saving Diagnosis

Researchers with The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and Nationwide Children’s Hospital have found that a simple urine test can rapidly detect one of the world’s deadliest pregnancy-related conditions at the point of care.

Preeclampsia

This could have a major impact on the health of pregnant women worldwide. In an effort to reduce illness and deaths among expecting mothers and their unborn children, maternal-fetal medicine and perinatal physician-researchers designed a rapid tool to identify preeclampsia using an affordable and non-invasive clinical “red dye-on paper” test.

It was piloted in a clinical study at Ohio State Wexner Medical Center. The results are published in Lancet’s E-Clinical Medicine.

“This is the first clinical study using the point-of-care, paper-based Congo Red Dot (CRD) diagnostic test, and the mechanism proved superior in establishing or ruling out a diagnosis of preeclampsia,” said Dr. Kara Rood, first author on the collaborative project and maternal-fetal medicine physician at Ohio State Wexner Medical Center. “Our findings will have a huge impact on the health of women and children.”

About one in 20 women develop preeclampsia during pregnancy, which can be life-threatening to both moms and babies. However, it is difficult to diagnose because symptoms often mimic those of a normal pregnancy, such as swelling and headaches.

Managing the condition early is critical to keeping mother and child safe, and now a new innovation may help start treatment sooner by quickly identifying preeclampsia with a simple urine test. In a new study, researchers at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center tested a fast and easy test to accurately diagnose the condition in just three minutes.

“Giving birth is the only cure for preeclampsia, but it can develop as early as the second trimester,” said Dr. Kara Rood, lead author of the study and maternal-fetal medicine physician at Ohio State Wexner Medical Center. “The quicker we identify women with the condition, the better chance they have of carrying their babies to full term and having a healthy delivery.”

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