What are the four categories of hypertensive disorders during pregnancy?

Updated: Jun 12, 2018
  • Author: Michael P Carson, MD; Chief Editor: Edward H Springel, MD, FACOG  more...
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Hypertension is the most common medical problem encountered during pregnancy, complicating up to 10% of pregnancies. [1] Hypertensive disorders during pregnancy are classified into 4 categories, as recommended by the National High Blood Pressure Education Program Working Group on High Blood Pressure in Pregnancy [2] :

  • Chronic hypertension

  • Preeclampsia superimposed on chronic hypertension

  • Gestational hypertension (transient hypertension of pregnancy or chronic hypertension identified in the latter half of pregnancy). [2] This terminology is preferred over the older but widely used term "pregnancy-induced hypertension" (PIH) because it is more precise.

The Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada (SOGC) released revised guidelines that simplified the classification of hypertension in pregnancy into four categories, pre-existing hypertension, gestational hypertension, preeclampsia, or “other hypertensive effects” on the basis of different diagnostic considerations. [3]

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