Pregnant woman

NICE publish new pre-eclampsia guidance facilitating better diagnoses

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) have published new guidance recommending the routine use of placental growth factor (PLGF) based testing to help diagnose pre-eclampsia.

The news could help protect the lives of thousands of mums and babies in England and Wales.

The new guidance has put forward four PLGF-based tests to aid short-term predictions of pre-eclampsia, when used in conjunction with supplementary diagnostic and clinical information. Those tests include:

  • DELFIA Xpress PLGF 123
  • DELFIA Xpress sFlt1/PLGF 123 ratio
  • Elecsys immunoassay sFlt1/PLGF ratio
  • Triage PLGF Test

In the past, PLGF-based tests were only used to rule out cases of pre-eclampsia, however, NICE are now recommending the tests to also rule-in and diagnose the condition. This will help clinicians decide on the most appropriate form of care, how much the patient needs to be monitored, and their need for hospitalisation.

Marcus Green, Chief Executive Officer of Action on Pre-eclampsia, said: “Pregnancy can be both a joyous and anxious time, and improving early diagnosis of pre-eclampsia is essential so that mothers and babies can get the care they need.

“We’re pleased to see this vital new NICE guidance which we hope will have a significant impact on expectant families in England and Wales both by giving them and their clinicians reassurance, or escalating care when needed. But it can’t stop there – there is a postcode lottery that means some trusts are yet to take this up, and nationally implementation is patchy. This has to end.”

Pre-eclampsia is a condition affecting up to one in 10 pregnancies and can lead to serious complications for both the mother and the baby if it isn’t monitored and treated.

The new guidance is a major milestone in maternal care, as it provides families with much needed clarity and reassurance that they’re going to receive the care they need.

More information on the new guidance is available here.

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