Researchers at Yale School of Medicine have found that analyzing proteins in urine is a simple and objective method to diagnose and classify preeclampsia (PE), a complication of pregnancy causing high blood pressure after 20 weeks of gestation.
The work will be presented at the 26th Annual Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM) meeting on February 3 by Irina A. Buhimschi, M.D., assistant professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences.
Delivery of the baby is the only treatment for PE, which is more prevalent in obese, older, diabetic and black women. Buhimschi and her team had the goal of discovering a biomarker for predicting, diagnosing and monitoring severity and treatment effectiveness of PE.
The team analyzed 122 urine samples collected prospectively from different patients. The team applied proteomics to define the best combination of urinary biomarkers that set PE apart from other proteinuric hypertensive conditions during pregnancy.
“The presence of a combination of specific fragments of albumin and serpina-1 are highly characteristic for preeclampsia superimposed on chronic hypertension or not,” said Buhimschi. “By identifying these protein biomarkers we gained further insight into the mechanisms related to the development of PE.”
“This can lead to earlier diagnosis and treatment of PE and can help prevent unnecessary pre-term deliveries,” Buhimschi added.
Revision date: June 14, 2011
Last revised: by Jorge P. Ribeiro, MD