The HELLP syndrome, a prospective study

Ren Fail. 2001 Sep;23(5):705-13. doi: 10.1081/jdi-100107367.


Objective: We undertook this study to evaluate the incidence and outcome of HELLP in Irish patients. In addition, duration and trends of the abnormal laboratory results were studied.

Study design: This prospective observational study screened 12068 pregnant women between January 1995 and March 1997. Any pregnant woman with hypertension, proteinuria, thrombocytopenia or anemia was monitored for hemolysis and elevated liver transaminases, from the time of recruitment till six weeks postpartum or resolution.

Results: Thirteen of 12068 pregnant women (0.11%) developed HELLP. All had hypertension and 84.6% had proteinuria. Delivery was the only factor found to terminate the syndrome. Acute renal dysfunction was noted in 53.8% but none required dialysis. Laboratory parameters stabilized by the sixth postpartum day. Fetal mortality was 1 out of 14. There were no maternal deaths.

Conclusions: HELLP syndrome is a rare but potentially serious complication of pregnancy. Correlation with laboratory data and early intervention are vital in achieving a favorable outcome for both mother and fetus.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Fetal Death / epidemiology*
  • Gestational Age
  • HELLP Syndrome / diagnosis*
  • HELLP Syndrome / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Ireland / epidemiology
  • Liver Function Tests
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Severity of Illness Index