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Researchers move closer to better care for life-threatening pregnancy condition

Researchers move closer to better care for life-threatening pregnancy condition

Pregnant women suffering from a life-threatening condition called preeclampsia may soon have a new treatment option, thanks to a clinical trial that is underway at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Preeclampsia is a serious complication of pregnancy, characterized by high blood pressure and protein in the urine. If left untreated, it can lead to maternal and infant mortality.

The current standard of care for preeclampsia is delivery of the baby. However, this is not always possible, particularly in cases where the pregnancy is not far enough along to ensure the baby’s survival.

The new treatment, called the Abruptio Placentae Trial (APT), is a randomized clinical trial that is testing the safety and efficacy of a medication called tranexamic acid (TXA) in women with preeclampsia.

TXA is a drug that has been shown to be effective in reducing blood loss in other contexts, such as trauma and childbirth.

The APT trial is enrolling women who are between 24 and 34 weeks pregnant and have been diagnosed with preeclampsia. Women who are enrolled in the trial will be randomly assigned to receive either TXA or a placebo.

The primary outcome of the trial is to assess the safety of TXA in pregnant women with preeclampsia. Secondary outcomes include measures of maternal and infant health.

The APT trial is expected to enroll 200 women at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. If the trial is successful, TXA could become the first new treatment for preeclampsia in more than 20 years.

References:

Brigham and Women’s Hospital. (2018, September 11). Brigham and Women’s Hospital Begins Clinical Trial of New Treatment for Preeclampsia. Retrieved from https://www.brighamandwomens.org/about-bwh/newsroom/2018/09/brigham-and-womens-hospital-begins-clinical-trial-of-new-treatment-for-preeclampsia

In a new study, researchers have found that a common pregnancy complication – preeclampsia – may be caused by problems with the placenta.

Preeclampsia is a serious condition that can lead to high blood pressure and damage to the liver, kidney, and brain. It is the leading cause of maternal death in the United States, and it affects one in 12 pregnancies.

While the cause of preeclampsia has been a mystery, this new research offers a potential explanation.

The study, published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, looked at the placentas of women who had preeclampsia. The researchers found that the placentas of these women were different from those of women who did not have the condition.

Specifically, the placentas of women with preeclampsia had lower levels of a protein called syncytin-1. This protein is important for the development of the placenta.

The researchers say that these findings could lead to new ways to prevent and treat preeclampsia. For example, drugs that increase levels of syncytin-1 could be used to prevent the condition.

This research is still in the early stages, and more work needs to be done to confirm these findings. But this study provides a potential new direction for preeclampsia research.

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