What is the role of gestational age in the diagnosis of hypertensive disorders during pregnancy?

Updated: Jun 12, 2018
  • Author: Michael P Carson, MD; Chief Editor: Edward H Springel, MD, FACOG  more...
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Answer

Answer

Hypertension before 20 weeks' gestation is almost always due to chronic hypertension; new-onset or worsening hypertension after 20 weeks' gestation should lead to a careful evaluation for manifestations of preeclampsia. However, preeclampsia is rare before the third trimester, and the diagnosis of severe hypertension or preeclampsia in the first or early second trimester necessitates exclusion of gestational trophoblastic disease and/or molar pregnancy.


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