Simple urine test to diagnose preeclampsia

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Washington, Feb 05 (ANI): Scientists have developed a simple urine test to diagnose preeclampsia, a serious hypertensive complication linked to pregnancy.

Researchers at Yale School of Medicine have named it the "Congo Red Dot Test.

The test accurately predicted preeclampsia in a study of 347 pregnant women.

Lead researcher Irina Buhimschi, M.D., associate professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at Yale School of Medicine, said: "There is a critical need in the developing world for low-cost diagnostics for preeclampsia.

"This test will help identify high-risk patients that should be transported from remote settings to facilities where there is access to specialized care for preeclampsia, such as magnesium sulfate therapy."

She added it would be useful to identify women who are needed to deliver their babies immediately, reducing the incidence of unnecessary early birth, as delivery is the only effective treatment for preeclampsia.

It was also learnt that that the Congo Red Dot Test could be used as a marker for assessing misfolded proteins.

The test is based on a common red dye, originally used to stain textiles, that sticks to misfolded proteins.

Buhimschi and her team had found in an earlier study that preeclampsia is a pregnancy-specific protein misfolding disease.

She concluded: "In this new work, we have seen a link between preeclampsia and other disorders caused by misfolded proteins such as Alzheimer's or prion disease.

"This may provide the foundation for new therapeutic approaches to reduce the burden of this disorder."

The research study will be presented at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine (SMFM) in Chicago on February 4. (ANI)

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