Pre-eclampsia Screening

What is pre-eclampsia screening?

Pre-eclampsia is a pregnancy complication characterized by high blood pressure and protein in the urine. It can be a severe condition that can lead to complications for both the mother and the baby. These include preterm delivery, placental abruption, and even maternal death. However, early identification and treatment of pre-eclampsia have the best outcome for both mother and baby.

How is the Pre-eclampsia screening done?

There are several methods for screening for pre-eclampsia, including:

  • Blood pressure measurement: High blood pressure is one of the main signs of pre-eclampsia. As such, blood pressure measurement is an essential part of routine prenatal care. If you are a pregnant woman whose blood pressure is consistently high or suddenly increasing, it could be a sign of pre-eclampsia.
  • Proteinuria: Protein in the urine (proteinuria) is another vital sign of pre-eclampsia. A simple dipstick test can detect the presence of protein in a pregnant woman's urine. If protein is present, it could indicate pre-eclampsia.
  • Ultrasound: An ultrasound helps assess the baby's growth and well-being and looks for signs of placental dysfunction, which can be a feature of pre-eclampsia.
  • Biophysical profile: A biophysical profile is a non-stress test that combines an ultrasound with a fetal heart rate monitoring test. It is used to assess the baby's well-being and can also help identify placental dysfunction.
  • Doppler velocimetry: Doppler velocimetry is a technique that uses sound waves to measure blood flow through the placenta and the baby's umbilical cord. It can be used to assess placental function and can help identify pre-eclampsia.
  • Placental growth factor: Placental growth factor (PlGF) is a protein produced by the placenta. Low levels of PlGF have been linked to an increased risk of pre-eclampsia. A blood test is necessary to measure PIGF.
  • Soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase 1: Soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase 1 (sFLT1) is another protein produced by the placenta. High levels of sFLT1 have been linked to an increased risk of pre-eclampsia. sFLT1 can also be measured through a blood test.

It is important to note that none of these screening tests can definitively diagnose pre-eclampsia. Instead, they are used to identify if you are at an increased risk of developing the condition or if you may require closer monitoring or treatment.

Risk factors associated with Pre-eclampsia

The frequency of screening for pre-eclampsia depends on the individual woman's risk factors. Women with certain risk factors, such as a history of pre-eclampsia or high blood pressure, may require more frequent screening.

Other risk factors that can increase the chance of developing pre-eclampsia are-

  • Being pregnant with twins or triplets
  • Having a history of pre-eclampsia or high blood pressure
  • Being obese
  • Being over the age of 35
  • Having a family history of pre-eclampsia

If you have one or more of these risk factors, you may be considered high risk for pre-eclampsia and may be monitored more closely throughout your pregnancy.

Treatment of pre-eclampsia

Treatment for pre-eclampsia can vary depending on the condition's severity and the pregnancy stage. You can manage Mild pre-eclampsia with close monitoring and lifestyle modifications, such as bed rest and limiting salt intake. More severe cases may require medications to lower blood pressure and prevent complications. In some cases, delivery of the baby may be the best option to manage pre-eclampsia.


Pre-eclampsia can be a severe pregnancy complication, but if you undergo proper screening and management, it will undoubtedly ensure the health of the mother and baby. If you are a pregnant woman, then you need to attend all prenatal visits. You should also report any symptoms or concerns to your healthcare provider.

Request an appointment at Apollo Cradle, Bengaluru - Koramangala. Call 1860-500-1066 to book an appointment.

1. What is pre-eclampsia?

Pre-eclampsia is a condition that can occur during pregnancy or after childbirth. It can be identified by high blood pressure and protein in the urine.

2. What are the symptoms of pre-eclampsia?

Symptoms of pre-eclampsia may include high blood pressure, protein in the urine, swelling in the face, hands, and feet, and sudden weight gain.

3. Who is at risk for pre-eclampsia?

Several factors can increase the risk of developing pre-eclampsia, including being pregnant with your first child, being over the age of 40, having a family history of pre-eclampsia, and having conditions such as diabetes or kidney disease.

4. How is pre-eclampsia diagnosed?

Pre-eclampsia diagnosis includes routine prenatal care, during which a healthcare provider will check the mother's blood pressure and test for protein in the urine.

5. How is pre-eclampsia treated?

The pre-eclampsia treatment will depend on the severity of the condition and how far along the pregnancy the mother is. Sometimes, the best action may be to deliver the baby as soon as possible.

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