Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Symptoms

HELLP Syndrome Overview

What is HELLP syndrome?
HELLP syndrome is a rare but serious complication in pregnancy. It most commonly occurs in the last 3 months of pregnancy. HELLP syndrome occurs in about 10% of pregnant women who have preeclampsia or eclampsia. HELLP stands for Hemolysis (ruptured red blood cells), Elevated Liver enzymes (shows liver inflammation), and Low Platelet count. Because of these changes, women with this syndrome have problems with anemia, liver disease, and bleeding problems. This also creates serious health problems for the fetus.

What are the symptoms of HELLP syndrome?
The symptoms of HELLP syndrome include upper abdominal pain, headache, vision problems, leg swelling, generalized swelling, and nausea and vomiting that gradually worsens.

How does the doctor treat HELLP syndrome?
The treatment for HELLP syndrome is to deliver the baby as soon as possible because the decreased liver function in the mother will get worse rapidly. Liver problems can produce issues for both mother and child.

Continue to HELLP Syndrome Symptoms

Last Updated: Jul 16, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed HELLP Syndrome References
  1. Joshi D, James A, Quaglia A, Westbrook RH, Heneghan MA. Liver disease in pregnancy. Lancet. 2010 Feb 13;375(9714):594-605. [20159293]
  2. Mackillop L, Williamson C. Liver disease in pregnancy. Postgrad Med J. 2010 Mar;86(1013):160-4. [20237010]
  3. Marik PE. Hypertensive disorders of pregnancy. Postgrad Med. 2009 Mar;121(2):69-76. [19332964]
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