What is pre-eclampsia (PE)?


Pre-eclampsia is high blood pressure caused by pregnancy. It is one of the most common and life threatening conditions occurring in pregnancy and affects around 1 in 20 pregnant women.

Some of the risk factors for PE include:

  • maternal and paternal family history

  • previous pregnancy with pre-eclampsia

  • multiple pregnancy (e.g. twins)

  • maternal age (over 40 years)

  • body mass index (BMI) over 30

  • pre-existing high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking or kidney disease

  • systemic inflammation

  • ethnic origin

    Screening during the first trimester can identify women at increased risk for early-onset pre-eclampsia. Interventions include lowdose aspirin and early delivery depending on gestation. Without treatment, pre-eclampsia may affect the normal growth of the baby


What does screening involve?

Your doctor can provide you with the request forms and discuss these tests with you. Alternatively they may give you a referral to see us at 13 weeks to provide you with a pathology request form. Just let us know when you call that you are interested in Pre-eclampsia screening.

At Melbourne Ultrasound for Women, we will perform an ultrasound at 13 weeks and check your blood pressure. A copy of your results will be sent to your referring doctor but we will give you your results as we receive them. Results are usually available within 3 working days of the bloods being drawn and the 13 week ultrasound report being received by the laboratory.



Patient information


For more information, please visit the VCGS website