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Perinatal Outcome in Patients With Pre-Eclampsia in Benin City, Nigeria

Alphonsus N Onyiriuka
Angela A Okolo


Objective: To determine the prevalence of pre-eclampsia and examine its influence on perinatal outcome among Nigerian women.

Methods: Among 3780 deliveries over a two-and-half year period, 212 singleton infants were born after preeclamptic pregnancies. We compared the perinatal outcome with those of 636 control infants. Pre-eclampsia was defined as (1) an increase in either systolic or diastolic blood preasure (BP) greater than 30mm Hg or 15mmHg respectively above the booking BP plus proteinuria ( > 1+) without simultaneous urinary tract infection. (2) an intrapartum BP > 140 /90mmHg obtained on at least two occasions not less than 6 hours apart during delivery plus presence of proteinuria as indicated in (1) above.

Results: The prevalence of pre-eclampsia was 5.6%; corresponding to 77.9% of all cases of hypertensive disorders in pregnancy. Pre-eclampsia occurred most frequently among women aged 20-24 years (2.7%); corresponding to 48.6% of all cases and whose parity were zero (3.6%); corresponding to 64.2% of all cases. The perinatal mortality rate, the preterm delivery rate and the incidence of birth asphyxia were separately significantly higher in mothers with pre-eclamptic pregnancies than in controls. Mean birth weight was significantly lower in infants delivered after pre-eclamptic pregnancies (2995 + 340g) than after control pregnancies (3105 + 301g). Presence of heavy proteinuria (= 3+) potentiated the adverse effects of pre-eclampsia on perinatal outcome.

Conclusion: Pre-eclampsia commonly complicates pregnancy in young primiparous women. It affects the fetus adversely resulting in fetal growth restriction, preterm delivery, birth asphyxia and sometimes, fetal demise.

Key Words: Pre-Eclampsia, Hypertension, Pregnancy, Proteinuria

[Trop J Obstet Gynaecol, 2004; 21:148-152]