First trimester prediction and prevention of adverse pregnancy outcomes related to poor placentation

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Purpose of review

To summarize recent research findings related to first trimester prediction and prevention of adverse pregnancy outcomes associated with poor placentation. Recent publications related to prediction and prevention of preeclampsia, intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) and stillbirth were reviewed.

Recent findings

Researchers continue to identify markers that will help predict pregnancies that go on to develop preeclampsia through screening at 11–13+6 weeks. A number of multivariate algorithms describing risks for preeclampsia have been published and some of these have been validated in independent populations. A large randomized controlled trial has proven the efficacy of a first trimester prediction – prevention programme for preeclampsia with an 80% reduction in prevalence of disease leading to delivery less than 34 weeks. Screening tools for IUGR and stillbirth are less advanced and require further validation in other populations. The value of these models in preventing disease still needs to be demonstrated.


Significant progress has been made in developing predictive and preventive strategies which can affect the prevalence of severe early-onset preeclampsia. This approach could be adopted for population-based screening aiming to prevent this disease.

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