Hypertension in Pregnancy: Natural History and Treatment Options

  • L. FooEmail author
  • J. Tay
  • C. C. Lees
  • C. M. McEniery
  • I. B. Wilkinson
Blood Pressure Monitoring and Management (J Cockcroft, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Blood Pressure Monitoring and Management


Hypertensive disorders of pregnancy affect approximately 5–10 % of all maternities and are major contributors of maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality worldwide. This group of disorders encompasses chronic hypertension, as well as conditions that arise de novo in pregnancy: gestational hypertension and pre-eclampsia. The latter group is thought to be part of the same continuum but with arbitrary division. Research into the aetiology of hypertension in pregnancy have largely been focused on pre-eclampsia, with a majority of studies exploring either pregnancy-associated factors such as placental-derived or immunologic responses to pregnancy tissue, or maternal constitutional factors such as cardiovascular health and endothelial dysfunction. The evidence base for the pathophysiology and progression of hypertensive disorders in pregnancy, particularly pre-eclampsia, is reviewed. Clinical algorithms and pharmacological agents for the management of hypertension in pregnancy are summarised, with a brief focus on post-partum considerations and long-term health implications. Novel therapeutic options for the management of pre-eclampsia are also explored.


Pregnancy Hypertension Pre-eclampsia Gestational hypertension 


Compliance with Ethics Guidelines

Conflict of Interest L. Foo, J. Tay, C.C. Lees, C.C. McEniery and I.B. Wilkinson declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. Foo
    • 1
    Email author
  • J. Tay
    • 2
  • C. C. Lees
    • 1
  • C. M. McEniery
    • 3
  • I. B. Wilkinson
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Surgery & Cancer, Faculty of MedicineImperial College LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.Queen Charlotte’s & Chelsea HospitalImperial NHS Healthcare TrustLondonUK
  3. 3.Clinical Pharmacology UnitUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK

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