(HealthDay News) — The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends pre-eclampsia screening with blood pressure measurements during pregnancy. These findings form the basis of a final recommendation statement, published online April 25 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, Ph.D., M.D., from the University of California, San Francisco, and colleagues from the USPSTF reviewed the evidence on the accuracy of screening and diagnostic tests for pre-eclampsia and the benefits and harms of screening and treatment of screen-detected pre-eclampsia in order to update the 1996 recommendation.

The researchers note that there was adequate evidence that pre-eclampsia screening results in considerable benefit for mother and infant, given that treatment can reduce maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality and the established accuracy of measuring blood pressure. Sufficient evidence also suggested that screening for and treatment of pre-eclampsia was associated with potential harms that were no greater than small. Based on these findings, the USPSTF concluded that there is substantial net benefit of pre-eclampsia screening in pregnant women (B recommendation).

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“Pre-eclampsia can progress quickly and lead to severe complications for both the mother and infant,” task force member Maureen G. Phipps, M.D., M.P.H., said in a statement. “It is critical that women be screened for pre-eclampsia during every clinical visit throughout their pregnancy.”

Evidence Review
Recommendation Statement