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Hypertension in Pregnancy:

Hypertension in Pregnancy District I ACOG Medical Student Education Module 2011

Etiology & Definition:

Etiology & Definition Complicates 10-20% of pregnancies Elevation of BP ≥140 mmHg systolic and/or ≥90 mmHg diastolic, on two occasions at least 6 hours apart.


Categories Chronic Hypertension Gestational Hypertension Preeclampsia Preeclampsia superimposed on Chronic Hypertension

Chronic Hypertension:

Chronic Hypertension “Preexisting Hypertension” Definition Systolic pressure ≥ 140 mmHg, diastolic pressure ≥90 mmHg, or both. Presents before 20 th week of pregnancy or persists longer then 12 weeks postpartum. Causes Primary = “Essential Hypertension” Secondary = Result of other medical condition ( ie : renal disease)

Prenatal Care for Chronic Hypertensives:

Prenatal Care for Chronic Hypertensives Electrocardiogram should be obtained in women with long-standing hypertension. Baseline laboratory tests Urinalysis , urine culture, and serum creatinine , glucose, and electrolytes Tests will rule out renal disease, and identify comorbidities such as diabetes mellitus. Women with proteinuria on a urine dipstick should have a quantitative test for urine protein.

Treatment for Chronic Hypertension:

Treatment for Chronic Hypertension Avoid treatment in women with uncomplicated mild essential HTN as blood pressure may decrease as pregnancy progresses. May taper or discontinue meds for women with blood pressures less than 120/80 in 1 st trimester. Reinstitute or initiate therapy for persistent diastolic pressures > 95 mmHg , systolic pressures >150 mmHg, or signs of hypertensive end-organ damage . Medication choices = Oral methyldopa and labetalol.


Preeclampsia Definition = New onset of hypertension and proteinuria after 20 weeks gestation. Systolic blood pressure ≥ 140 mmHg OR diastolic blood pressure ≥ 90 mmHg Proteinuria of 0.3 g or greater in a 24-hour urine specimen Preeclampsia before 20 weeks, think MOLAR PREGNANCY! Categories Mild Preeclampsia Severe Preeclampsia Eclampsia Occurrence of generalized convulsion and/or coma in the setting of preeclampsia, with no other neurological condition.


Preeclampsia Severe Preeclampsia must have one of the following: Symptoms of central nervous system dysfunction = Blurred vision, scotomata , altered mental status, severe headache Symptoms of liver capsule distention = Right upper quadrant or epigastric pain Nausea, vomiting Hepatocellular injury = Serum transaminase concentration at least twice normal Systolic blood pressure ≥ 160 mm Hg or diastolic ≥ 110 mm Hg on two occasions at least six hours apart Thrombocytopenia = < 100,000 platelets per cubic milimeter Proteinuria = 5 or more grams in 24 hours Oliguria = <500 mL in 24 hours Severe fetal growth restriction Pulmonary edema or cyanosis Cerebrovascular accident

Preeclampsia superimposed on Chronic Hypertension:

Preeclampsia superimposed on Chronic Hypertension Affects 10-25% of patients with chronic HTN Preexisting Hypertension with the following additional signs/symptoms: New onset proteinuria Hypertension and proteinuria beginning prior to 20 weeks of gestation. A sudden increase in blood pressure. Thrombocytopenia. Elevated aminotransferases.

Treatment of Preeclampsia:

Treatment of Preeclampsia Definitive Treatment = Delivery Major indication for antihypertensive therapy is prevention of stroke. Diastolic pressure ≥105-110 mmHg or systolic pressure ≥160 mmHg Choice of drug therapy: Acute – IV labetalol, IV hydralazine, SR Nifedipine Long-term – Oral methyldopa or labetalol

Gestational Hypertension:

Gestational Hypertension Mild hypertension without proteinuria or other signs of preeclampsia. Develops in late pregnancy, after 20 weeks gestation. Resolves by 12 weeks postpartum. Can progress onto preeclampsia. Often when hypertension develops < 30 weeks gestation. Indications for and choice of antihypertensive therapy are the same as for women with preeclampsia .

Risk Factors for Hypertension in Pregnancy:

Risk Factors for Hypertension in Pregnancy Nulliparity Preeclampsia in a previous pregnancy Age >40 years or <18 years Family history of pregnancy-induced hypertension Chronic hypertension Chronic renal disease Antiphospholipid antibody syndrome or inherited thrombophilia Vascular or connective tissue disease Diabetes mellitus (pregestational and gestational) Multifetal gestation High body mass index Male partner whose previous partner had preeclampsia Hydrops fetalis Unexplained fetal growth restriction

Evaluation of Hypertension in Pregnancy:

Evaluation of Hypertension in Pregnancy History ID and Complaint HPI (S/S of Preeclampsia) Past Medical Hx , Past Family Hx Past Obstetrical Hx , Past Gyne Hx Social Hx Medications, Allergies Prenatal serology, blood work Assess for Hypertension in Pregnancy risk factors Physical Vitals HEENT = Vision Cardiovascular Respiratory Abdominal = Epigastric pain, RUQ pain Neuromuscular and Extremities = Reflex , Clonus, Edema Fetus = Leopold’s , FM, NST

Evaluation of Hypertension in Pregnancy:

Evaluation of Hypertension in Pregnancy Laboratory Tests CBC ( Hgb , Plts ) Renal Function (Cr, UA, Albumin) Liver Function (AST, ALT, ALP, LD) Coagulation (PT, PTT, INR, Fibrinogen) Urine Protein (Dipstick, 24 hour)

Management of Hypertension in Pregnancy:

Management of Hypertension in Pregnancy Depends on severity of hypertension and gestational age!!!! Observational Management Restricted activity Close Maternal and Fetal Monitoring BP Monitoring S/S of preeclampsia Fetal growth and well being (NST, and U/S) Routine weekly or biweekly blood work

Management of Hypertension in Pregnancy:

Management of Hypertension in Pregnancy Medical Management Acute Therapy = IV Labetalol, IV Hydralazine, SR Nifedipine Expectant Therapy = Oral Labetalol, Methyldopa, Nifedipine Eclampsia prevention = MgSO4 Contraindicated antihypertensive drugs ACE inhibitors Angiotensin receptor antagonists

Management of Hypertension in Pregnancy:

Management of Hypertension in Pregnancy Proceed with Delivery Vaginal Delivery VS Cesarean Section Depends on severity of hypertension! May need to administer antenatal corticosteroids depending on gestation! Only cure is DELIVERY!!!

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