The study showed that in women with pre-eclampsia, intravenous treatment with magnesium sulfate (primarily administered to prevent seizures) decreased central pressure and arterial stiffness.

The investigators measured central pressure and arterial augmentation index (an indicator of arterial stiffness) with SphygmoCor at four points like before the drug was administered, one hour after a bolus injection was given, four hours after maintenance intravenous infusion was given and 24 hours after delivery and the cessation of drug therapy.

AtCor Medical said that the study also found that central arterial pressure and arterial stiffness decreased after the drug was administered, with the decrease occurring four hours after maintenance drug therapy was initiated. Twenty-four hours after delivery and the cessation of drug therapy, arterial pressure had risen slightly but arterial stiffness remained at the same level.

Duncan Ross, president and CEO of AtCor Medical, said: “This new study adds to the growing scientific evidence of the importance of measuring noninvasive central blood pressure in the diagnosis and treatment of pre-eclampsia in hospitalised patients and in clinics. Using noninvasive central pressure assessment, the investigators were able to measure important drug effects that were not detectable with standard brachial cuff blood pressure measurements.”

“These important studies in preeclampsia provide further evidence of the vital need to measure central blood pressure, both in patient care and in clinical trials. It is the only way to fully evaluate and manage the cardiovascular risks and benefits of drug therapy.”