Improved Method of Screening for Preeclampsia
Renato Luis da Silveira Ximenes of Universidade Federal de São Paulo in Brazil will conduct a randomized controlled trial to evaluate whether a daily low dose of aspirin taken from early in pregnancy can prevent preeclampsia and thereby reduce the rate of preterm birth. Preterm birth is a leading cause of neonatal morbidity and mortality, and preeclampsia is a major cause of maternal death. The combination of several biomarkers such as serum levels of placental growth factor and biophysical measurements such as mean arterial pressure can now quite well identify women at higher risk of developing preeclampsia already at 11-14 weeks gestation, providing an early window of opportunity to treat them. And a recent meta-analysis suggested that the administration of low dose aspirin before 16 weeks could reduce the rate of preeclampsia by fifty percent. They hypothesize that the earlier treatment is started, the more effective it will be. They will screen pregnant Brazilian women at 11–14 weeks to identify those at risk of developing early preeclampsia and test whether low dose aspirin can prevent it.