HELLP Syndrome Associated With Long-Term Risks

HELLP history may complicate subsequent pregnancies with additional comorbid conditions
By Rick Ansorge
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Oct. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Pregnant women who develop hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes, and low platelets (HELLP) syndrome have an increased long-term risk of subsequent pregnancy complications and other comorbidities, according to a study published in the October issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Mounira Habli, M.D., of the University of Cincinnati, and colleagues surveyed 128 patients with a history of HELLP and obtained their medical records. Hemolysis, liver enzyme levels and platelets were assessed according to gestational age of onset (≤28 weeks and >28 weeks).

Among the 128 pregnancies with a history of HELLP, the researchers found that 53 patients achieved another pregnancy, with 24.5 percent developing HELLP syndrome and 28 percent developing preeclampsia. They also observed high rates of new-onset hypertension, depression, and anxiety (33, 32, and 26 percent, respectively). In addition, 2.4 percent of patients required dialysis.

"In conclusion, our findings reveal the presence of significant long-term disorders after HELLP syndrome. These findings are important for patient counseling, close postpartum as well as long-term follow-up," the authors write. "However, patients should be informed that these findings are based on survey results until they are confirmed by large prospective trials."

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