, Volume 13, Issue 5, pp 338-346
Date: 09 Jun 2011

Mechanisms and Management of Hypertension in Pregnant Women

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Abstract

Hypertension is the most common medical disorder encountered during pregnancy. A recent report highlighted hypertensive disorders as one of the major causes of pregnancy-related maternal deaths in the United States. Significant advances in our understanding of preeclampsia, a form of hypertension unique to pregnancy, have occurred in recent years. The optimal timing and choice of therapy for hypertensive pregnancy disorders involves carefully weighing the risk-versus-benefit ratio for each individual patient, with an overall goal of improving maternal and fetal outcomes. In this review, we summarize the mechanisms thought to be involved, review the current management guidelines for hypertensive pregnancy disorders as recommended by international guideline groups, and outline some newer perspectives on management.