Introduction: HELLP syndrome is a variant of pregnancy-induced hypertension that is associated with significant maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality. The aim of our study was to investigate the neonatal complications associated to this syndrome.
Patients and method: A retrospective observational study was carried out on all newborns of mothers with HELLP syndrome in Virgen del Rocio hospital from 1995 to 2005. There were 120 newborns of 99 mothers with HELLP syndrome. Gestational age, birth weight, length, skull perimeter, number of hospital admissions and mortality were analyzed. The birth weight, length and skull perimeter were compared with a healthy population of the same gestational age using Lubchenco charts. The statistical relationships were determined between the mothers' platelet counts and the birth weight and perinatal mortality.
Results: A total of 80% of pregnancies were preterm delivery with a mean gestational age of 33 weeks. Mean birth weight was 1,834g, length 41cm and skull perimeter 29cm. A third of newborns had fetal growth restriction. 61% of newborns needed admitting to hospital due to prematurity and low birth weight. There were 24 perinatal deaths. We did not find any correlation between the number of platelets of the mother and birth weight or perinatal mortality.
Conclusions: HELLP syndrome is an uncommon but potentially serious complication of pregnancy which is associated with an increased risk of adverse maternal and fetal outcome.