Preeclampsia is a form of pregnancy-induced high blood pressure that can be very dangerous for a mom-to-be and her baby. This scary condition affects 10 percent of all pregnant women worldwide.
The condition is typically diagnosed during the third trimester, when it may already have compromised a pregnancy. But a new test offers expectant women potentially life-saving early detection.
Medical diagnostics company DiabetOmics devised the test, which can diagnose preeclampsia as early as the first trimester. With early detection, the condition can be properly monitored and managed by a woman's doctor to prevent health complications.
The test may be available in early 2015.
"We have completed the clinical studies and validation of a new, simple and accurate test for preeclampsia that measures a specific protein in maternal blood, and have just published these results in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology," says Srinivasa Nagalla, CEO and founder of DiabetOmics.
For the study, researchers looked at the relationship between a protein called glycosylated fibronectin, or GlyFn, and preeclampsia. They found that elevated levels of glycosylated fibronectin in a pregnant woman's blood indicates that the condition will occur.
The hope is that this new test will help save the lives of both mothers and babies around the world.
"Preeclampsia is a major contributor to global maternal and perinatal disorders related to high blood pressure and is the second leading cause of stillbirths and early neonatal deaths in developing nations," says Michael Gravett, professor and vice-chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Washington and scientific director of the Global Alliance to Prevent Prematurity and Stillbirth. "The availability of a simple and accurate point-of-care testing...will be a major aid in dealing with this critical global problem."