Association between maternal serum beta human chorionic gonadotropin levels and hypertensive disorders of pregnancy

Archana Kumari, Vahini M.


Background: A major challenge in obstetrics is early identification of hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (HDP). This study was performed to determine the association between elevated maternal serum β-hCG levels and HDP, the correlation between serum β-hCG level and severity of preeclampsia and to determine the value of serum β-hCG level as a diagnostic marker for early diagnosis of HDP.

Methods: This was a hospital based observational study conducted in the department of obstetrics and gynecology, Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences, Ranchi on 375 pregnant women with period of gestation more than 20 weeks, including 250 pregnant women with HDP as study group and 125 normotensive pregnant women as controls. Serum β-hCG concentration was measured and its level was compared between two groups.

Results: The maternal mean serum β-hCG levels (51161.08±30038.21 IU/L) of study group of HDP were higher than the normotensive control group (17603.23±16748.21 IU/L). In non-severe preeclampsia, the mean serum levels were 36417.32±23876.74 IU/L while in severe preeclampsia, 60030.34±28771.31 IU/L. There was statistically significant difference (p<0.001) with higher levels in early onset preeclamptic mothers than late onset preeclampsia. The cut-off point of β-hCG for predicting HDP was 32077 IU/L with sensitivity of 65% and specificity of 86%.

Conclusions: Serum β-hCG level is higher in HDP when compared to normotensive women. Higher levels of β-hCG are associated with increasing severity of hypertensive disorders of pregnancy. The utility of serum β-hCG as a diagnostic test is limited because of low sensitivity and difficulty in deciding the cut-off value.


Eclampsia, Hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, Preeclampsia, Serum β-hCG

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