Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Pre-eclampsia Diagnosis and Treatment Options: A Review of Published Economic Assessments

Pre-eclampsia Diagnosis and Treatment Options: A Review of Published Economic Assessments Thumbnail


BACKGROUND: Pre-eclampsia is a pregnancy complication affecting both mother and fetus. Although there is no proven effective method to prevent pre-eclampsia, early identification of women at risk of pre-eclampsia could enhance appropriate application of antenatal care, management and treatment. Very little is known about the cost effectiveness of these and other tests for pre-eclampsia, mainly because there is no clear treatment path. The aim of this study was to provide a comprehensive overview of the existing evidence on the health economics of screening, diagnosis and treatment options in pre-eclampsia. METHODS: We searched three electronic databases (PubMed, EMBASE and the Cochrane Library) for studies on screening, diagnosis, treatment or prevention of pre-eclampsia, published between 1994 and 2014. Only full papers written in English containing complete economic assessments in pre-eclampsia were included. RESULTS: From an initial total of 138 references, six papers fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Three studies were on the cost effectiveness of treatment of pre-eclampsia, two of which evaluated magnesium sulphate for prevention of seizures and the third evaluated the cost effectiveness of induction of labour versus expectant monitoring. The other three studies were aimed at screening and diagnosis, in combination with subsequent preventive measures. The two studies on magnesium sulphate were equivocal on the cost effectiveness in non-severe cases, and the other study suggested that induction of labour in term pre-eclampsia was more cost effective than expectant monitoring. The screening studies were quite diverse in their objectives as well as in their conclusions. One study concluded that screening is probably not worthwhile, while two other studies stated that in certain scenarios it may be cost effective to screen all pregnant women and prophylactically treat those who are found to be at high risk of developing pre-eclampsia. DISCUSSION: This study is the first to provide a comprehensive overview on the economic aspects of pre-eclampsia in its broadest sense, ranging from screening to treatment options. The main limitation of the present study lies in the variety of topics in combination with the limited number of papers that could be included; this restricted the comparisons that could be made. In conclusion, novel biomarkers in screening for and diagnosing pre-eclampsia show promise, but their accuracy is a major driver of cost effectiveness, as is prevalence. Universal screening for pre-eclampsia, using a biomarker, will be feasible only when accuracy is significantly increased.


(2015). Pre-eclampsia Diagnosis and Treatment Options: A Review of Published Economic Assessments. PharmacoEconomics, 1069 -1082.

Acceptance Date Jun 5, 2015
Publication Date Oct 1, 2015
Journal Pharmacoeconomics
Print ISSN 1170-7690
Publisher Springer Verlag
Pages 1069 -1082
Publisher URL


Downloadable Citations