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Maternal and child health
Placental growth factor testing to assess women with suspected pre-eclampsia
  1. Annette Pluddemann
  1. Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Annette Pluddemann, Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health, Sciences, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK; annette.pluddemann{at}

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Pre-eclampsia diagnosis is currently made based on clinical signs including blood pressure and proteinuria measurements. A recent trial analysed the use of placental growth factor to assess women with suspected pre-eclampsia.

EBM Verdict

EBM Verdict on: Placental growth factor testing to assess women with suspected pre-eclampsia: a multicentre, pragmatic, stepped-wedge cluster-randomised controlled trial. Lancet 2019;393:1807–18. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(18)33212-4.

  • Placental growth factor measurement improves pre-eclampsia diagnosis and management, reducing time-to-diagnosis and improving maternal outcomes.

Pre-eclampsia occurs in 2%–8% of pregnancies, and is a significant contributor to maternal morbidity and mortality; however, the exact causes are unclear.1 Current diagnosis is based on clinical features including hypertension and proteinuria, requiring regular monitoring.2 Low circulating concentration of placental growth factor (PlGF), an angiogenic factor, has been shown to have a high sensitivity and negative predictive value for pre-eclampsia, suggesting PlGF could be a useful test in women …

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  • Contributors AP conceived and wrote this paper.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests AP reports grants from NIHR and NIHR School of Primary Care Research and occasionally receives expenses for teaching evidence-based medicine.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.