Background: Hypertension of pregnancy [office blood pressure (BP) levels≥140/90 mmHg] is fairly
common and can affect up to 10% of pregnant women worldwide. Hypertension of pregnancy is an important
risk factor for the mother and carries increased morbidity and mortality for the fetus. Women with hypertension
of pregnancy have a high-risk for future cardiovascular and renal events.
Objectives: To summarize the literature related to several clinical aspects of hypertension in pregnancy and
draw clinically meaningful conclusions.
Methods: We conducted an in-depth review of the literature to retrieve existing data on the definition, epidemiology,
classification, and management of hypertension in pregnancy.
Results: All pregnant women with hypertension should have a proper diagnostic workup and be treated appropriately.
In women with mild hypertension, BP therapeutic target should be set to 110-140/80-85mmHg. In women
with severe hypertension, BP should be reduced by at least 25% as soon as possible, and gradually thereafter
to normal target levels of <140/105mmHg. In terms of preeclampsia, physicians need to consider potential
complications and formulate prevention strategies. The choice of antihypertensive medication is crucial since
certain classes can be detrimental to the fetus and should be avoided. Post-partum, the choice of antihypertensive
therapy of the mother should take into consideration breastfeeding of the fetus. Given the life-long cardiovascular
risk of women with pregnancy hypertension, a regular cardiovascular evaluation is in order.
Conclusion: Albeit the antihypertensive treatment exerts significant benefits for both the mother and the baby,
several clinical aspects remain un-tackled. More research is needed to further improve the treatment of such disorders.