Hypertension and pregnancy
Which are the symptoms?
Very variable. In most cases the diagnosis is based solely on the measurement of blood pressure, which must be frequent throughout pregnancy. In the most severe forms of preeclampsia the most common symptoms can be: headache, epigastric pain, visual disturbances, sometimes convulsions.
How is it diagnosed?
The detection of high blood pressure during pregnancy should be followed by an immediate diagnostic and therapeutic path, with the aim of classifying the hypertension in chronic or gestational and to assess its severity: performance of blood tests for the evaluation of renal and hepatic function and coagulation; performance of an obstetrical ultrasound with Doppler velocimetry to verify fetal growth and placental function. Frequently, in fact, preeclampsia is associated with fetal growth retardation.
How is it treated?
Severe hypertension (blood pressure > 160/110) should be promptly corrected with antihypertensive drugs, in order to prevent cerebrovascular complications. The finding of chronic hypertension requires a monitoring of the pregnant woman at a Center for Pathology of Pregnancy in order to individualize the treatment and prevent serious complications, the most frequent of which is the superimposition of preeclampsia. In the presence of gestational hypertension, in case of organ damage, hospitalization for intensive monitoring of mother and fetus is recommended. In the most severe form, premature delivery may be necessary.