Early administration of low-dose aspirin for the prevention of preterm and term preeclampsia: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Fetal Diagn Ther. 2012;31(3):141-6. doi: 10.1159/000336662. Epub 2012 Mar 21.


Objective: To compare the effect of early administration of aspirin on the risk of preterm and term preeclampsia.

Method: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials were performed. Women who were randomized to low-dose aspirin or placebo/no treatment at or before 16 weeks of gestation were included. The outcomes of interest were preterm preeclampsia (delivery <37 weeks) and term preeclampsia. Pooled relative risks (RR) with their 95% confidence intervals (CI) were computed.

Results: The search identified 7,941 citations but only five trials on a combined total of 556 women fulfilled the inclusion criteria. When compared to controls, aspirin initiated ≤16 weeks of gestation was associated with a major reduction of the risk of preterm preeclampsia (RR 0.11, 95% CI 0.04-0.33) but had no significant effect on term preeclampsia (RR 0.98, 95% CI 0.42-2.33).

Conclusion: Low-dose aspirin administrated at or before 16 weeks of gestation reduces the risk of preterm but not term preeclampsia.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Aspirin / administration & dosage*
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Female
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature*
  • Odds Ratio
  • Placentation / drug effects
  • Pre-Eclampsia / physiopathology
  • Pre-Eclampsia / prevention & control*
  • Pregnancy
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Aspirin