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The Implementation of Preeclampsia Screening and Prevention (IMPRESS) Study

Published:November 15, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajogmf.2022.100815

      BACKGROUND

      Preeclampsia affects between 2% and 5% of pregnancies and is one of the leading causes of perinatal morbidity and mortality worldwide. Despite strong evidence that the combination of systematic preeclampsia screening based on the Fetal Medicine Foundation preeclampsia risk calculation algorithm with treatment of high-risk patients with low-dose aspirin reduces the incidence of preterm preeclampsia more than currently used risk-factor–based screening, real-world implementation studies have not yet been done in Canada.

      OBJECTIVE

      This study aimed to assess the operational feasibility of implementing first-trimester screening and prevention of preterm preeclampsia (<37 weeks) alongside a publicly funded first-trimester combined screening program for aneuploidies.

      STUDY DESIGN

      This was a prospective implementation study. Consecutive pregnant patients referred for first-trimester combined screening (11–13+6 weeks) were offered screening for preeclampsia based on the Fetal Medicine Foundation algorithm concomitantly with their aneuploidy screen. Consenting participants were screened using maternal risk factors, mean arterial pressure, uterine artery Doppler pulsatility index, pregnancy-associated plasma protein-A, and placental growth factor. Risk for preterm preeclampsia (<37 weeks) was calculated using the Fetal Medicine Foundation algorithm, and individuals with a risk score ≥1 per 100 were recommended to use aspirin (162 mg once daily at bedtime, <16–36 weeks). Implementation metrics assessed included: acceptability, operational impact, proportion of aspirin initiation, quality and safety measures, and screen performance.

      RESULTS

      Between December 1, 2020 and April 23, 2021, 1124 patients consented to preeclampsia screening (98.3% uptake), and 92 (8.2%) screened positive. Appointments for patients receiving first-trimester combined screening aneuploidy and preeclampsia screening averaged 6 minutes longer than first-trimester combined screening alone, and adding uterine artery Doppler pulsatility index averaged 2 minutes. Of the 92 patients who screened as high-risk for preeclampsia, 72 (78.3%) were successfully contacted before 16 weeks’ gestation. Of these, 62 (86.1%) initiated aspirin, and 10 (13.9%) did not. Performance audit identified a consistent negative bias with mean arterial pressure measurements (median multiple of the median <1 in 10%); other variables were satisfactory. There were 7 cases of preterm preeclampsia (0.69%): 5 and 2 in the high- and low-risk groups, respectively. Screening detected 5 of 7 (71.4 %) preterm preeclampsia cases, with improved performance after adjustment for aspirin treatment effect.

      CONCLUSION

      This study confirms the operational feasibility of implementing an evidence-based preeclampsia screening and prevention program in a publicly funded Canadian setting. This will facilitate implementation into clinical service and the scaling up of this program at a regional and provincial level.

      Key words

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