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Measuring PIGF speeds up pre-eclampsia diagnosis

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Review of: Duhig KE, et al. 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.

Key learning points

  • Clinical diagnosis of pre-eclampsia is ambiguous and may result in repeat hospital visits and anxiety for women.

  • Placental growth factor (PIGF) has been shown to have high sensitivity and negative predictive value for pre-eclampsia that required delivery within 14 days.

  • The introduction of PIGF testing across 11 maternity units reduced the time to diagnosis by two days.

In women presenting with suspected pre-eclampsia, testing for levels of placental growth factor (PIGF) reduced time to diagnosis of pre-eclampsia and resulted in fewer severe adverse maternal outcomes.1


This randomised controlled trial in 11 UK maternity units aimed to determine whether knowing about a woman’s level of …

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  • Contributors DTB Team.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.