The integral role of aggressive glucocorticoids for mother and child

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Antepartum or postpartum HELLP syndrome constitutes an obstetric emergency that requires expert knowledge and management skills. The insidious and variable nature of disease presentation and progression challenges the clinician and complicates consensus on universally accepted diagnostic and classification criteria. A critical review of published research about this variant form of severe preeclampsia, focused primarily on what is known about the pathogenesis of this disorder as it relates to patient experience with corticosteroids for its management, leads to the conclusion that there is maternal-fetal benefit realized when potent glucocorticoids are aggressively used for its treatment. Although acknowledging the need for definitive multicenter trials to better define the limits of benefit and the presence of any maternal or fetal risk, and given an understanding of the nature of the disorder with its potential to cause considerable maternal morbidity and mortality, we recommend for the present that aggressively used potent glucocorticoids constitute the cornerstone of management for patients considered to have HELLP syndrome.


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