Author(s): Hermida RC, Ayala DE, Mojn A, Fernndez JR, Silva I,
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Abstract We have examined prospectively whether the combined approach of establishing tolerance intervals for the circadian variability of blood pressure (BP) as a function of gestational age, and then determining the so-called hyperbaric index (area of BP excess above the upper limit of the tolerance interval) by comparison of any patient's BP profile (obtained by ambulatory monitoring) with those intervals provides a high sensitivity test for the early detection of pregnant women who subsequently will develop gestational hypertension or preeclampsia. We analyzed 657 BP series from 92 women with uncomplicated pregnancies and 378 series from 60 women who developed gestational hypertension or preeclampsia. BP was sampled for about 48 hours once every 4 weeks after the first obstetric consultation. Circadian 90\% tolerance limits were determined as a function of trimester of gestation from 497 series previously sampled from a reference group of 189 normotensive pregnant women. The hyperbaric index was then determined for each individual BP series in the validation sample. Sensitivity of this test for diagnosing gestational hypertension was 93\% for women sampled during the first trimester of gestation and increased up to 99\% in the third trimester. The positive and negative predictive values were above 96\% in all trimesters. Despite the limitations of ambulatory monitoring, the approach presented here, now validated prospectively, represents a reproducible, noninvasive, and high sensitivity test for the very early identification of subsequent gestational hypertension and preeclampsia, on the average, 23 weeks before the clinical confirmation of the disease.
This article was published in Hypertension
and referenced in Internal Medicine: Open Access