Objective: To compare maternal and perinatal outcome with the use of either intravenous ketanserin or dihydralazine in treatment of women with preeclampsia.
Methods: The records from January 1989 to January 1997 of all patients receiving intravenous ketanserin or dihydralazine as first line antihypertensive therapy were reviewed and standardized data forms were completed. 315 charts of patients were identified and evaluated for effects on blood pressure, laboratory parameters, maternal and perinatal outcome.
Results: During the study interval 169 patients received ketanserin and 146 dihydralazine. Significantly fewer antepartum (27% versus 38%, p = 0.04) and postpartum (25% versus 39%, p = 0.01) maternal complications were noted in patients receiving ketanserin. Occurrence of HELLP syndrome was significantly lower among patients who received ketanserin (20%) than among those who received dihydralazine (40%, p = 0.0001). Side-effects were reported with significantly higher frequency in patients receiving dihydralazine (60%) as compared to those receiving ketanserin (17%, p < 0.0001). Perinatal outcome was comparable, however, umbilical cord arterial pH values (mean ± SD) were higher with ketanserin compared to dihydralazine ( 7.25 ± 0.07 vs 7.23 ± 0.09, p = 0.038). The incidence of placental abruption was higher in patients receiving dihydralazine (5.5%) versus those receiving ketanserin (0.6%, p = 0.014).
Conclusion: Ketanserin appears to be a better option than dihydralazine for treatment of severe preeclampsia since fewer maternal complications and side-effects were observed in patients receiving ketanserin.
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