Roche Diagnostics UK & Ireland has welcomed NICE’s new guidance recommending routine use of placental growth factor (PlGF)-based testing in the NHS in England and Wales to help diagnose suspected pre-eclampsia.
In cases of pre-eclampsia, abnormal levels of PlGF and sFlt-1 in the blood indicate that the placenta is not growing or functioning as it should. The latest National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidance recommends four PlGF-based tests, including Roche Diagnostics’ Elecsys immunoassay sFlt-1/PlGF, to aid in the short-term prediction of pre-eclampsia, when used in conjunction with other diagnostic and clinical information.
Previously, PlGF-based tests were only recommended to rule out pre-eclampsia; however, the latest NICE guidance supports their use to also rule-in pre-eclampsia. The ability to predict which women are likely to develop pre-eclampsia in the coming weeks will help clinicians to decide on the most appropriate care and level of monitoring, and the need for hospitalisation.
Pre-eclampsia is a condition affecting up to one in 10 pregnancies, and can lead to serious complications for both mother and baby if not monitored and treated. Early signs can include high blood pressure and protein in urine, with symptoms including severe headache, vision problems, pain just below the ribs, nausea or vomiting, or sudden swelling of the hands, feet or face.
Geoff Twist, Managing Director of Roche Diagnostics UK & Ireland, said: “The importance of knowing you or your loved one is receiving the right care during pregnancy cannot be overstated. Pre-eclampsia can be a devastating condition but we also know it needn’t be if it is diagnosed and treated early.
“We hope that NICE’s recommendations of routine testing for pre-eclampsia across the NHS in England and Wales will bring many positive benefits including greater confidence to clinicians in diagnosing and treating this potentially life-threatening condition; much needed clarity for expectant parents; and a reduction in unnecessary hospital admissions.
“These benefits should be available to all expectant parents, regardless of where they live, which is why it is important that all UK nations adopt these new recommendations and provide the same level of access to pre-eclampsia testing.”