Clinical tools and biomarkers to predict preeclampsia

EBioMedicine. 2022 Jan:75:103780. doi: 10.1016/j.ebiom.2021.103780. Epub 2021 Dec 23.


Preeclampsia is pregnancy-specific, and significantly contributes to maternal, and perinatal morbidity and mortality worldwide. An effective predictive test for preeclampsia would facilitate early diagnosis, targeted surveillance and timely delivery; however limited options currently exist. A first-trimester screening algorithm has been developed and validated to predict preterm preeclampsia, with poor utility for term disease, where the greatest burden lies. Biomarkers such as sFlt-1 and placental growth factor are also now being used clinically in cases of suspected preterm preeclampsia; their high negative predictive value enables confident exclusion of disease in women with normal results, but sensitivity is modest. There has been a concerted effort to identify potential novel biomarkers that might improve prediction. These largely originate from organs involved in preeclampsia's pathogenesis, including placental, cardiovascular and urinary biomarkers. This review outlines the clinical imperative for an effective test and those already in use and summarises current preeclampsia biomarker research.

Keywords: Biomarkers; Placenta; Prediction; Preeclampsia.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Placenta
  • Placenta Growth Factor
  • Pre-Eclampsia* / diagnosis
  • Pre-Eclampsia* / epidemiology
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Trimester, First
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Receptor-1


  • Biomarkers
  • Placenta Growth Factor
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Receptor-1