According to a recent study published in American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Preeclampsia can be diagnosed easily by doing a simple paper-based test known as CRD (Congo red dot) test. This research is completed by a group of researchers at the Ohio state university Waxner medical centre and nationwide children’s hospital.

Preeclampsia occurs in approximately 4.6 percent of pregnancies worldwide.

Preeclampsia is a serious disorder of pregnancy characterised by new onset of hypertension (high blood pressure) and proteinuria (proteins in the urine) after 20 weeks of pregnancy in a previously normal patient. If this condition is not treated it can lead to life threatening complication eclampsia. As a result, each year approximately 76,000 women and 500,000 infants die of pre-eclampsia and eclampsia.

It is more common after 34 weeks of pregnancy.

Risk factors of pre-eclampsia include nulliparity, chronic hypertension, family history of hypertension, multiple pregnancies and previous history of pre-eclampsia.

In the study 346 women were enrolled prospectively. Each woman was evaluated for the pre-eclampsia and CRD test was done. For research fresh crude urine was applied to a rapid paper-based CRD. Results were scored by clinical nurses at the bedside before a final diagnosis and management plan was established. Eighty-nine out of 346 women had a clinical diagnosis of preeclampsia and 79% of them were delivered pre-term around 33 weeks of gestational age. The CRD test was found to be very useful and authentic in diagnosing or ruling out the preeclampsia with an accuracy of 86%.

Dr Kara Rood, who is a fellow of maternal-fetal medicine, presented the results at the society of maternal-fetal medicine’s annual pregnancy meeting in Atlanta.

Previously in 2014, Dr Irina Buhimschi, director of centre of perinatal research at the Research Institute of Nationwide children’s hospital, discovered that preeclampsia could be the outcome of the improperly folded proteins. They used ‘Congo red dye’ on the urine of pregnant ladies and found that protein-rich urine contained different varieties of other proteins like amyloid precursor proteins and enzymes, beta-amyloid, ceruloplasmin, immunoglobin-free light chains, and SERPINA1.

As there is a lack of definitive test for the diagnosis of preeclampsia and physician induce labour indiscriminately leading to the premature births.

The main purpose after the diagnosis of preeclampsia is to assess the severity of the disease and to make the well being of mother and baby certain. There is no cure for it except the delivery to prevent the development of maternal and foetal complications.

CDR test is a fast, convenient, affordable and non-invasive bedside test. And it many assist to prevent the preeclampsia.

“This new point –of- care test is a more user-friendly and can help to identify preeclamsia even before clinical symptoms appear”, said Dr Buhimschi.

It is a sad reality that this medical condition is either overdiagnosed such as in developed countries due to legal implications or under-diagnosed due to lack of resources like in under-developed countries, leading to high mortality rates. Researchers are also finding that how the misfolded proteins affect the pregnant women. More research will help to find a cure and prevention of preeclampsia and eclampsia.