Research Article

Early platelet consumption in pre-eclampsia.

Br Med J 1978; 1 doi: (Published 25 February 1978) Cite this as: Br Med J 1978;1:467
  1. C W Redman,
  2. J Bonnar,
  3. L Beilin


    One hundred and thirty-one women with chronic hypertension were studied serially during pregnancy to determine the sequence of events in the development of superimposed pre-eclampsia and to discover the time of onset. Twenty-seven women developed a sustained rise in plasma urate concentrations, which began at about 28 weeks' gestation and which is characteristic of pre-eclampsia. The mean platelet count was already significantly reduced and continued to fall until delivery, which was on average at 36 weeks' gestation. A comparable but smaller decrease in platelet count was seen in 55 women who had borderline but consistent increases in plasma urate concentrations. In 49 women whose plasma urate concentrations remained steady the platelet count did not change significantly before delivery. The reduced platelet count in women who develop pre-eclampsia suggests that increased platelet consumption is an early feature of the disorder.