Emergency diagnostic testing in pregnancy

Gianfranco Cervellin, Marco Scarci, Laura Bonfanti, Filippo Numeroso, Giuseppe Lippi

Abstract

Emergency diagnostic testing is challenging in pregnancy, whereby some parameters may be modified by the pregnancy and, on the other hand, other laboratory tests are essential for monitoring pregnancy and for diagnosing its potential complications. Owing to a number of physiological adaptations which develop throughout physiological pregnancy, clinically significant changes may develop in the reference ranges of some laboratory tests such blood cell count, urea, creatinine, thyroid hormones, screening hemostasis tests and D-dimer. Reliable evidence is then accumulating that some specific tests may be very useful for diagnosing or ruling out pregnancy-related disorders, especially preeclampsia and even pregnancy-induced hypertension. Therefore, this article aims to provide a concise overview on the significance of emergency diagnostic testing in pregnancy.