A study led by senior Tel Aviv University (TAU) researchers recently made a breakthrough discovery in the study of preeclampsia. The study, led by Dr. Noam Shomron and Professor Moshe Hod of TAU’s Faculty of Medicine, revealed for the first time 25 molecular markers in the blood of pregnant women in their first trimester that indicate that the women are likely to suffer from preeclampsia.

A scientific article on the study was published in the Scientific Reports journal. “Up to eight percent of pregnant women are likely to suffer from preeclampsia during their second or third trimester,” Shomron explained. “This is a serious disease that endangers their health and sometimes even the lives of the mother and the fetus.”

While the cause of preeclampsia, which is when women develop hypertension and elevated protein in their urine during pregnancy, is unknown, there is a relatively easy way to treat it- to take aspirin at a low dosage starting from week 16 at the latest.

However, without clear and unequivocal biological markers for early diagnosis, the prediction of the likelihood that a woman will suffer from preeclampsia has been based on general criteria, such as previous pregnancies and blood pressure. The Israeli study was aimed at finding a way to identify markers that allow for an early diagnosis with a high level of accuracy.