One of the possible complications of pregnancy is preeclampsia. What is behind this term? Who is at risk for this pathology and what can be done to avoid it - says obstetrician-gynecologist Artem Romanovsky.
Artem Romanovsky - obstetrician-gynecologist of the highest category, doctor of ultrasound diagnostics, candidate of medical sciences. Author of over 80 publications on complications of multiple pregnancies. Works in the maternity hospital No. 17 of St. Petersburg.
- What is pre-eclampsia of pregnancy?
- A complication of pregnancy caused by a spasm of small vessels of the whole body. This leads to dysfunction of all organs, including the uteroplacental complex. At the heart of this pathology is a violation of the formation of the placenta in the early stages of pregnancy, 3-7 weeks, when the ovum penetrates into the uterine lining. At this moment, incomplete invasion of the forming placenta into the vessels of the decidual tissue of the uterus occurs, which causes a violation of the flow of oxygen from the maternal body. This leads to the fact that the balance of factors regulating the tone of blood vessels - their spasm and relaxation - is disturbed in the forming placenta. Normally, in a woman expecting a baby, the vessels should be relaxed in order to ensure a sufficient and stable supply of oxygen and nutrients to the developing embryo. Therefore, blood pressure is usually slightly lower than usual in the first half of pregnancy. With preeclampsia, the opposite happens: instead of the small vessels in the body relaxing, they spasm, microthrombi form, and oxygen delivery to cells is disrupted.
- What can provoke this condition?
- Completely the development mechanism of this conditions, the reasons for its occurrence, remain unknown. At the beginning of the last century, the British Royal Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists established a prize in the form of a golden statue to a person who will fully reveal the cause of gestosis. And so far it has not been awarded. 150-200 years ago, seizures, the most severe manifestation of this condition, led to the death of a woman. The British called eclampsia "the evil mask of pregnancy." And for a very long time this condition was simply called "toxicosis" - doctors associated the appearance of this condition with the poisoning of a woman's body with products of pregnancy. In fact, of course, this was not the case.
- You said preeclampsia - is this what is called preeclampsia?
- Both gestosis and pre-eclamsia are different names for the same condition. Preeclampsia is more modern and common. It is also called "late toxicosis".
- And early toxicosis can be a prerequisite for the onset of gestosis?
- No. What we call early toxicosis, that is, nausea, vomiting, drooling, when you want to eat something special, has nothing to do with preeclampsia.
- Why is this condition dangerous for a woman and a child? What are the possible light and heavy consequences?