Test to detect pre-eclampsia in pregnancy recommended for use

The test has the ability to detect pre-eclampsia at between 20 to 36 weeks of pregnancy.

Test to detect pre-eclampsia in pregnancy recommended for use in Scotland iStock

A test to detect the potentially life-threatening condition of pre-eclampsia in pregnancy has been recommended for use in Scotland.

The test, which can identify preterm pre-eclampsia between 20 to 36 weeks of pregnancy, has been recommended by Healthcare Improvement Scotland.

The condition has the potential to cause serious complications and is thought to be linked to the placenta, affecting around 6% of pregnancies.

The test measures levels of placental growth factor (PlGF) in the blood.

Certain groups, such as those with African, Caribbean and Asian family backgrounds or those from deprived areas, are statistically at higher risk from preterm pre-eclampsia.

Public health minister Maree Todd said: “The Scottish Government warmly welcomes the publication of the report and recommendations from the Scottish Health Technologies Group.

“NHS boards in Scotland can already choose to offer the placental growth factor testing and these recommendations further highlight the potential benefits for pregnant women and their families.

“We expect all NHS boards in Scotland to take note of the recommendations and work to ensure that all pregnant women who need the placental growth factor testing are able to access it as part of their routine maternity care.”

Marcus Green, chief executive of Action on Pre-eclampsia, said: “We welcome this advice in Scotland, which broadly mirrors the Nice (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) guideline in England and Wales.

“This is the latest step in a long journey for this lifesaving, time-saving and cost-saving test and we now need to see a very clear path to funding and implementation.”