Purpose of review: Hypertensive disorders of pregnancy remain a highly morbid condition that affects both the mother and fetus, complicate approximately 10% of pregnancies worldwide, and contribute to immediate and long-term cardiovascular outcomes. There is still much to learn regarding pathogenesis and treatment goals.
Recent findings: There is updated information on the pathogenesis of preeclampsia and treatment thresholds for HTN in pregnancy. l-Kynurenine, a metabolite of the essential amino acid l-tryptophan, has been implicated in preeclampsia as decreased levels were found in a uninephrectomized pregnant mouse model of preeclampsia, where replacement of l-kynurenine rescued the preeclamptic state. Further, data from CHIPS (The Control of HTN in Pregnancy Study) and CHAP (Chronic HTN and Pregnancy) trials demonstrate not only the safety of lowering blood pressure to either a diastolic goal of 85 mmHg (CHIPS) or less than 160/105 mmHg (CHAP) without detriment to the fetus but the CHAPS trial has also shown a decrease in the rate of preeclampsia in the treatment group.
Summary: We will summarize the different types of hypertensive disorders in pregnancy, updates on the pathogenesis of preeclampsia, and appropriate HTN management based on the latest evidence in order to better care for mother and child.
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