England: a speedier diagnosis for pre-eclampsia

09 May 2019

A simple blood test that speeds up the diagnosis of pre-eclampsia by two days is to be rolled out to more pregnant women.


Researchers at King’s College London (KCL) found that measuring the concentration of placental growth factor (PlGF) in a woman’s blood cut the average diagnosis time from 4·1 to 1·9 days. 

Early diagnosis is also associated with a reduction in serious complications before birth – such as eclampsia, stroke and maternal death – from 5% to 4%. NHS England is now set to make the test widely available.

Professor Lucy Chappell of KCL said: ‘We knew that monitoring PlGF was an accurate way to help detect the condition but were unsure whether making this tool available to clinicians would lead to better care for women. Now we know that it does. The evidence shows that widespread PlGF testing could save lives.’

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