Aspirin In The Prevention Of Pre-Eclampsia: Where Are We Now?
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Pre-eclampsia is a pregnancy specific multi-systemic disorder that causes maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality worldwide. It is estimated to complicate between three to five percent of pregnancies and contributes to 8 to 10% of all preterm births1,2. Aspirin inhibits cyclooxygenase in platelets and endothelium in a fashion that alters the balance between the vasoconstrictor thromboxane and the vasodilator prostacyclin. This potentiates vasodilatation and reduces platelet aggregation, contributors to the endothelial dysfunction seen in preeclampsia. Over 100 clinical trials have examined whether or not Aspirin, when prescribed from early pregnancy, can prevent pre-eclampsia, and the consensus is that it reduces the incidence by approximately 10 to 24 % in women that are deemed to be at risk.