Author(s): Agnieszka NalewczyÅska, Agnieszka Timorek-Lemieszczuk, Beata Osuch
Hypertension is the most common medical condition complicating the pregnancy, with significant implications on maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality. The hypertensive disorders of pregnancy are a spectrum of conditions that are classified into 4 categories based upon recommendations of the National High Blood Pressure Education Program Working Group on High Blood Pressure in Pregnancy: chronic hypertension, preeclampsia, gestational hypertension, and severe hypertension. A variety of oral and parenteral therapies are approved for the treatment of hypertension in pregnancy - methyldopa, labetalol, and nifedipine have been used safely in pregnancy. Severe hypertension >160/110 mmHg may require parenteral therapy. Women may remain hypertensive in postpartum period and require treatment for a short interval. This article provides an overview of the pathophysiology and current pharmacologic management of hypertension in pregnancy.