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Superimposed Pre-eclampsia

Some patients who have chronic/essential hypertension or reno-vascular hypertension may develop a secondary disorder in late pregnancy known as superimposed gestational hypertension or superimposed pre-eclampsia. Those patients who have pre-existing blood pressure diseases are at a uniformly higher risk of hypertension related to pregnancy.

The diagnosis monitoring and treatment are similar to pre-eclampsia, but patients with combined hypertensive disorders may become critically ill in a very short period of time. Extreme caution should be followed when managing these patients and early hospitalization and delivery are common. Steroids, intravenous magnesium sulfate and prolonged hospitalization may be required.

Early or urgent need for delivery increases the C-section risks for these patients. After delivery, this secondary hypertension will resolve, leaving the patient as she was prior to pregnancy.

Should you have any questions about any of the hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, the specialists at Austin Perinatal Associates are available to answer them.

Dr. David L. Berry

A 4th generation physician and Austinite since 1978, Dr. Berry is board certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology both in OB/GYN and maternal-fetal medicine.

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