Hypertension in pregnancy: natural history and treatment options

L. Foo*, J. Tay, C. C. Lees, C. M. McEniery, I. B. Wilkinson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Hypertensive disorders of pregnancy affect approximately 5–10 % of all maternities and are major contributors of maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality worldwide. This group of disorders encompasses chronic hypertension, as well as conditions that arise de novo in pregnancy: gestational hypertension and pre-eclampsia. The latter group is thought to be part of the same continuum but with arbitrary division. Research into the aetiology of hypertension in pregnancy have largely been focused on pre-eclampsia, with a majority of studies exploring either pregnancy-associated factors such as placental-derived or immunologic responses to pregnancy tissue, or maternal constitutional factors such as cardiovascular health and endothelial dysfunction. The evidence base for the pathophysiology and progression of hypertensive disorders in pregnancy, particularly pre-eclampsia, is reviewed. Clinical algorithms and pharmacological agents for the management of hypertension in pregnancy are summarised, with a brief focus on post-partum considerations and long-term health implications. Novel therapeutic options for the management of pre-eclampsia are also explored.

Original languageEnglish
Article number36
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalCurrent Hypertension Reports
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Gestational hypertension
  • Hypertension
  • Pre-eclampsia
  • Pregnancy


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