What are the complications of superimposed preeclamptic disorders on hypertension during pregnancy?

Updated: Jun 12, 2018
  • Author: Michael P Carson, MD; Chief Editor: Edward H Springel, MD, FACOG  more...
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Superimposed preeclamptic disorders on hypertension during pregnancy may lead to severe maternal complications, including eclamptic seizures, intracerebral hemorrhage, pulmonary edema (due to capillary leak, myocardial dysfunction, excess IV fluid administration), acute renal failure (due to vasospasm, acute tubular necrosis [ATN], or renal cortical necrosis), proteinuria greater than 4-5 g/d, HELLP syndrome (microangiopathic hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes, and thrombocytopenia [platelets < 100/µL]), hepatic swelling with or without liver dysfunction, hepatic infarction/rupture and subcapsular hematoma (which may lead to massive internal hemorrhage and shock), DIC and/or consumptive coagulopathy (rare). Consumptive coagulopathy is usually associated with placental abruption and is uncommon as a primary manifestation of preeclampsia.

Fetal complications include abruptio placentae, intrauterine growth restriction, premature delivery, and intrauterine fetal death.

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