Hellp syndrome may it be a separate entity?



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HELLP Syndrome


HELLP Syndrome

  • may it be a separate entity?



HELLP, a syndrome characterized by hemolysis, elevated liver enzyme levels and a low platelet count, is an obstetric complication that is frequently misdiagnosed at initial presentation. Many investigators consider the syndrome to be a variant of preeclampsia,

  • HELLP, a syndrome characterized by hemolysis, elevated liver enzyme levels and a low platelet count, is an obstetric complication that is frequently misdiagnosed at initial presentation. Many investigators consider the syndrome to be a variant of preeclampsia,





Epidemiology and Risk Factors

  • HELLP syndrome 0.2 to 0.6 % of all pregnancies.

  • Preeclampsia 5 to 7 % of all pregnancies.



Etiology and Pathogenesis

  • The hemolysis in HELLP syndrome is a microangiopathic hemolytic anemia. Red blood cells become fragmented as they pass through small blood vessels with endothelial damage and fibrin deposits.

  • The peripheral smear may reveal spherocytes, schistocytes, triangular cells and burr cells.

  • increase in Bilirubin and lactic dehydrogenase levels.



Etiology and Pathogenesis

  • The elevated liver enzyme levels in the syndrome are thought to be secondary to obstruction of hepatic blood flow by fibrin deposits in the sinusoids. This obstruction leads to periportal necrosis and, in severe cases, intrahepatic hemorrhage, subcapsular hematoma formation or hepatic rupture.



Etiology and Pathogenesis

  • The thrombocytopenia has been attributed to increased consumption and/or destruction of platelets.



Clinical Presentation

  • 90%of patients present with generalized malaise,

  • 65 % with epigastric pain,

  • 30 % with nausea and vomiting,

  • 31 percent with headache.



Because of the variable nature of the clinical presentation, the diagnosis of HELLP syndrome is generally delayed for an average of eight days.

  • Because of the variable nature of the clinical presentation, the diagnosis of HELLP syndrome is generally delayed for an average of eight days.



In one retrospective chart review of patients with HELLP syndrome, only two of 14 patients entered the hospital with the correct diagnosis.

  • In one retrospective chart review of patients with HELLP syndrome, only two of 14 patients entered the hospital with the correct diagnosis.



Because early diagnosis of this syndrome is critical, any pregnant woman who presents with malaise or a viral-type illness in the third trimester should be evaluated with a complete blood cell count and liver function tests.

  • Because early diagnosis of this syndrome is critical, any pregnant woman who presents with malaise or a viral-type illness in the third trimester should be evaluated with a complete blood cell count and liver function tests.



Clinical Presentation

  • The physical examination may be normal in patients with HELLP syndrome.



Clinical Presentation



Clinical Presentation



Diagnosis

  • There is agreement among most of the authors that, the diagnosis requires the concurrence of hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes, and low platelet count. However, there is obviously still a lack of consensus on the laboratory parameters and their cutoff values used to diagnose



Laboratory Diagnostic Criteria for HELLP syndrome

  • Haemolysis

    • Abnormal peripheral smear : spherocytes, schistocytes, triangular cells and burr cells
    • Total Bilirubin level > 1.2 mg/dL
    • Lactate dehydrogenase level > 600U/L
  • Elevated liver function test result

    • Serum aspartate amino transferase level > 70U/L
    • Lactate dehydrogenase level >600 U/L
  • Low platelet count

    • Platelet count < 150 000/mm3




Classification





The treatment approach should be based on the estimated gestational age and the condition of the mother and fetus.

  • The treatment approach should be based on the estimated gestational age and the condition of the mother and fetus.

  • Prolongation of pregnancy, in theory, may be favourable for the foetus whereas it remains controversial whether maternal condition is further deteriorated by expectant management



hypertension is controlled at less than 160/110 mm hg,

  • hypertension is controlled at less than 160/110 mm hg,

  • Oliguria responds to fluid management .

  • Elevated liver function values are not associated with right upper quadrant or epigastric pain.

  • Class II –III .(platelet count).>50000





  • The antenatal administration of dexamethasone (Decadron) in a high dosage of 10 mg intravenously every 12 hours has been shown to markedly improve the laboratory abnormalities associated with HELLP syndrome.

  • Steroids given antenatally do not prevent the typical worsening of laboratory abnormalities after delivery. However, laboratory abnormalities resolve more quickly in patients who continue to receive steroids postpartum.



Corticosteroid therapy should be instituted in patients with HELLP syndrome who have a platelet count of less than 100,000 per mm3 .And should be continued until liver function abnormalities are resolving and the platelet count is greater than 100,000 per mm3

  • Corticosteroid therapy should be instituted in patients with HELLP syndrome who have a platelet count of less than 100,000 per mm3 .And should be continued until liver function abnormalities are resolving and the platelet count is greater than 100,000 per mm3



Intravenously administered dexamethasone appears to be more effective than intramuscularly adminstered betamethasone for the antepartum treatment of mothers with HELLP syndrome.

  • Intravenously administered dexamethasone appears to be more effective than intramuscularly adminstered betamethasone for the antepartum treatment of mothers with HELLP syndrome.

  • (Am J Obstet Gynecol 2001;184:1332-9.).





Patients with HELLP syndrome should be treated prophylactically with magnesium sulfate to prevent seizures, whether hypertension is present or not.

  • Patients with HELLP syndrome should be treated prophylactically with magnesium sulfate to prevent seizures, whether hypertension is present or not.





Antihypertensive therapy should be initiated if blood pressure is consistently greater than 160/110 mm hg despite the use of magnesium sulfate. The goal is to maintain diastolic blood pressure between 90 and 100 mm hg.

  • Antihypertensive therapy should be initiated if blood pressure is consistently greater than 160/110 mm hg despite the use of magnesium sulfate. The goal is to maintain diastolic blood pressure between 90 and 100 mm hg.



The most commonly used antihypertensive agent has been

  • The most commonly used antihypertensive agent has been

  • hydralazine

  • Labetolol

  • Nifedipine





Between 38 -93 % of patients with HELLP syndrome receive some form of blood product.

  • Between 38 -93 % of patients with HELLP syndrome receive some form of blood product.

  • Patients with a platelet count greater than 40,000 per mm3 are unlikely to bleed.



Patients who undergo cesarean section should be transfused if their platelet count is less than 50,000 per mm3 ,

  • Patients who undergo cesarean section should be transfused if their platelet count is less than 50,000 per mm3 ,

  • Prophylactic transfusion of platelets at delivery does not reduce the incidence of postpartum hemorrhage or hasten normalization of the platelet count. .

  • Patients with DIC should be given fresh frozen plasma and packed red blood cells.





Pain relief with intravenous narcotics and local anesthesia is acceptable but certainly not optimal for pain control.

  • Pain relief with intravenous narcotics and local anesthesia is acceptable but certainly not optimal for pain control.

  • Epidural anesthesia has been controversial but it is the technique of choice when it can be accomplished safely. Insertion of an epidural catheter is generally safe in patients with a platelet count greater than 100,000 per mm3.

  • General anesthesia can be used when regional anesthesia is considered unsafe.



Complications

  • The mortality rate for women with HELLP syndrome is approximately 1.1 %

  • From 1 to 25 % of affected women develop serious complications such as DIC, placental abruption, adult respiratory distress syndrome, hepatorenal failure, pulmonary edema, subcapsular hematoma and hepatic rupture.

  • A significant percentage of patients receive blood products.



Complications

  • Infant morbidity and mortality rates range from 10 to 60 %, depending on the severity of maternal disease.

  • Infants affected by HELLP syndrome are more likely to experience intrauterine growth retardation and respiratory distress syndrome.



Complications



Hellp syn




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