The laboratory evaluation of hypertensive gravidas

Obstet Gynecol Surv. 1995 Feb;50(2):138-45. doi: 10.1097/00006254-199502000-00026.


A number of laboratory tests are available for the evaluation of the hypertensive gravida. These tests can be used to either predict and/or prognosticate between preeclampsia and other hypertensive disorders of pregnancy. These laboratory tests were evaluated based on published experience with special attention to its ability to facilitate identification of the patient with preeclampsia apart from other hypertensive disorders that co-exist with and occur as a complication of pregnancy. Hypocalciuria and increased cellular plasma fibronectin seem to be good tests to differentiate preeclampsia from chronic hypertension. The management of preeclampsia with its increased risk of perinatal morbidity and mortality renders this differentiation clinically very important. Hyperuricemia, proteinuria, increased serum beta-thromboglobulin concentration, abnormal red blood cell morphology with increased hemoglobin/hematocrit, and increased serum iron individually and collectively reflect the severity of preeclampsia. Platelets and total serum lactate dehydrogenase are the best tests to reflect the severity of HELLP syndrome. Circulating hCG and serum thromboglobulin seem to be the most promising future predictors for preeclampsia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Eclampsia / blood
  • Eclampsia / diagnosis*
  • Eclampsia / urine
  • Female
  • Hematologic Tests
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / diagnosis*
  • Liver Function Tests
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Cardiovascular / blood
  • Pregnancy Complications, Cardiovascular / diagnosis*
  • Pregnancy Complications, Cardiovascular / urine