Clinical interpretation and implementation of the sFlt-1/PlGF ratio in the prediction, diagnosis and management of preeclampsia.
Verlohren S., Brennecke SP., Galindo A., Karumanchi SA., Mirkovic LB., Schlembach D., Stepan H., Vatish M., Zeisler H., Rana S.
Preeclampsia is associated with significant morbidity and mortality for mother and baby. Although around 30% of all pregnancies are evaluated for preeclampsia, diagnosis is difficult, especially in patients who have overlying symptoms from other diseases. Discovery of circulating angiogenic factors in the pathogenesis of preeclampsia has been a major advance for both diagnosis and prognosis. The anti-angiogenic factor, soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase 1 (sFlt-1) and the pro-angiogenic factor, placental growth factor (PlGF), can be measured in plasma and serum and are usually reported as a ratio, which specifically relates to the onset and severity of preeclampsia. The sFlt-1/PlGF ratio has a very high negative predictive value in ruling out the development of preeclampsia within 7 days among women with suspected preeclampsia. Currently, there is no clear consensus on the practical use of angiogenic biomarkers in the detection and management of preeclampsia in routine clinical practice. While major international clinical guidelines exist, they do not define which specific parameters signal patient admission, or outpatient evaluation of suspected preeclampsia, and most clinicians follow local practices. Better guidance is needed on risk stratification among women with suspected preeclampsia, as well as among women at high risk for preeclampsia. Prediction of adverse outcomes in women, after the clinical diagnosis of preeclampsia, is also important. This report has been developed following a meeting of international experts and aims to guide clinicians in the management of pregnant women at risk of preeclampsia using the sFlt-1/PlGF ratio test.