Pre-eclampsia affects 3-5% of pregnancies and is traditionally diagnosed by the combined presentation of high blood pressure and proteinuria. New definitions also include maternal organ dysfunction, such as renal insufficiency, liver involvement, neurological or haematological complications, uteroplacental dysfunction, or fetal growth restriction. When left untreated, pre-eclampsia can be lethal, and in low-resource settings, this disorder is one of the main causes of maternal and child mortality. In the absence of curative treatment, the management of pre-eclampsia involves stabilisation of the mother and fetus, followed by delivery at an optimal time. Although algorithms to predict pre-eclampsia are promising, they have yet to become validated. Simple preventive measures, such as low-dose aspirin, calcium, and diet and lifestyle interventions, show potential but small benefit. Because pre-eclampsia predisposes mothers to cardiovascular disease later in life, pregnancy is also a window for future health. A collaborative approach to discovery and assessment of the available treatments will hasten our understanding of pre-eclampsia and is an effort much needed by the women and babies affected by its complications.
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