Mild gestational hypertension remote from term: progression and outcome

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2001 Apr;184(5):979-83. doi: 10.1067/mob.2001.112905.


Objective: Limited information is available regarding the progression of disease in women with mild gestational hypertension. Our purpose was to describe the prognostic signs in the natural course of mild gestational hypertension and pregnancy outcomes in women who were remote from term with mild gestational hypertension that was expectantly managed.

Study design: Women with mild gestational hypertension participating in an outpatient hypertension monitoring program were studied. Inclusion criteria were patients with a singleton pregnancy between 24 and 35 weeks' gestation who had no proteinuria by dipstick (0 or trace) on the first 2 days of program participation. Progression to preeclampsia was the primary outcome. The rate of progression to severe preeclampsia, obstetric complications, and neonatal outcomes were secondary measures. Data were compared by independent Student t and Fisher exact tests where applicable.

Results: A total of 748 patients were studied during the observation period; preeclampsia (persistent proteinuria > or = 1+) developed in 343 (46%), and 72 (9.6%) had antepartum progression to severe preeclampsia. No significant differences in maternal age, race, marital status, or tobacco use were observed between those women in whom persistent proteinuria developed and those in whom it did not develop. Gestational age of the infants at delivery (36.5 +/- 2.4 vs 37.4 +/- 2.0 weeks), birth weight (2752 +/- 767 vs 3038 +/- 715 g), incidence of small-for-gestational-age newborns (24.8% vs 13.8%), and duration of neonatal hospital stay (7.1 +/- 10 vs 5.0 +/- 9.3 days) differed significantly in the patients with versus those without proteinuria (P <.001 for all).

Conclusions: In patients with mild gestational hypertension remote from term, 46% ultimately had preeclampsia, with progression to severe disease in 9.6%. The development of proteinuria is associated with an earlier gestational age at delivery, lower birth weight, and an increased incidence of small-for-gestational age newborns.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Birth Weight
  • Blood Pressure
  • Body Weight / physiology
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Gestational Age
  • Heart Rate / physiology
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / pathology*
  • Hypertension / physiopathology
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Small for Gestational Age
  • Logistic Models
  • Pre-Eclampsia / pathology*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Cardiovascular / pathology*
  • Pregnancy Complications, Cardiovascular / physiopathology
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Pregnancy Trimester, Second / blood
  • Prognosis
  • Proteinuria / pathology
  • Proteinuria / physiopathology