Association of serum c-reactive protein concentrations with severity of preeclampsia and imminent eclampsia in pregnant women in Zimbabwe
Mutsaka, Kudzaishe Elizabeth
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Preeclampsia is a hypertensive disorder in 3-7% of all pregnant women characterised by elevated blood pressure and proteinuria. It is a chief source of morbidity and mortality worldwide. The health of both the preeclamptic woman and her infant are dependent on how long she carries the foetus. To date, delivery of the child is the only cure for preeclampsia. C-reactive protein (CRP) is part of the innate immune system. It scavenges for chromatin released by dead cells during the acute phase, activates complement and acts as an opsonin for various pathogens. Elevation of CRP is still considered the beacon of the acute-phase response. It has been shown that C-reactive protein concentration is elevated in preeclampsia. Measuring the CRP concentration in preeclamptic women could help in understanding the best course of action for the pregnant woman and the foetus, especially if there is an association between CRP levels and severity of preeclampsia. Objectives: To determine the levels of C-reactive protein in Zimbabwean women who have preeclampsia during singleton pregnancy. To determine the association of CRP concentration and blood pressure in pregnant women. Materials and Methods: This was a cross sectional study conducted at Mbuya Nehanda Maternity Hospital Antenatal Ward and Antenatal Clinic including pregnant women with singleton pregnancy. Blood was collected to yield serum for the CRP assay, a particle enhanced turbidimetric immunoassay. Uric acid and blood pressure were also measured. Results: There was a positive correlation between CRP and mean arterial pressure (p=0.0137) and also between CRP and uric acid (p=0.0095). Conclusion: In conjunction with other biomarkers and clinical signs, CRP can help to give a fuller picture of the state of the pregnant women who has preeclampsia. The aetiology of preeclampsia is not well established but having more information about the condition will help in the monitoring and treatment of the pregnant woman to ensure she and her baby are well.