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Minerva Medica 2006 February;97(1):95-105


language: Italian

Management of uncomplicated arterial hypertension in pregnancy

Gullotti A. 1, Gullotti A. 2, Schillaci L. 2, Lo Genco A. 1, Figlioli F. 1, Pira M. 1, Rotolo G. 1

1 Dipartimento di Medicina Interna e Patologie Emergenti Università degli Studi di Palermo, Palermo 2 Istituto di Ginecologia ed Ostetricia Università degli Studi di Palermo, Palermo


In the management of uncomplicated arterial hypertension in pregnancy, blood pressure (BP) values of pregnant women should be treated in order to reduce risks of both maternal and fetal complications. To reduce these risks, it is necesssary to monitor BP, some hematochemical parameters and albuminuria, to try to prevent more serious clinical complications. Moreover, repeated measurements of BP, as well as frequent ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM) over 24 h are necessary. In the treatment of hypertension in pregnancy, if there are no high risks, it is possible to try a non pharmacological antihypertensive therapy consisting of a suitable diet, reduction of weight, abolition of some lifestyles (smoking, excessive alcohol consumption and heavy physical exercises). If these measures are not sufficient or the risk is high, a pharmacological therapy with neither toxic nor teratogenic drugs for the fetus will be administered in order to normalize BP without reducing perfusion of the uterus/placenta. Only in case of severe hypertension, a more aggressive pharmacological treatment should be carried out and, if necessary, hospitalization. The drugs suggested in these cases are those which have already been recognised as presenting low side effects. Antihypertensive drugs used in pregnancy can be classified as: suitable (methyldopa, clonidine, long acting calcioantagonists); cautiously used (a-blockers, b-betablockers); contraindicated (ACE-inhibitors, sartans, short acting calcioantagonists). Hyper-tensive crises should be treated with an injection therapy (clonidine, labetalol), with hospital admission if necessary, or if preeclampsia or eclampsia may occur.

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